Tech News on G4

Different Gift Gadgets for Different Travelers

Dec 22, 2008

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gaziní - G4 Canada

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If you’re still looking for that perfect little stocking stuffer and short on creativity as you come down to crunch time, perhaps think of the way they travel. Here are a few gift ideas for those who fly, drive, run or walk.

For those who Fly

Balanzza Digital Luggage ScaleAs airlines try desperately to cut costs, they also cut some of the traveler’s benefits. Not only have they reduced the number of bags you can check without costs, some like United, as I unexpectedly witnessed, have started charging for even the first one. And heaven forbid you go even one gram overweight - it could cost you $50 or even $100.

The solution for the frequent flyer is the Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale. This portable device allows you to weigh your luggage before you hit the airport.  Instead of a flat scale you lay your luggage on, this handheld has sturdy luggage strap that you attach to the handle of your suitcase. And while it’s designed for luggage, theoretically you could use it to weigh anything.

It’s easy to use. Simply lift the item, wait for a little beep and then just put it down. A large LED display will tell you in kilograms or pounds what the bag weighs.

It comes in 2 flavours: the BZ-100 is compact and ideal for travel and the BZ200B is ergonomic and ideal for heavier items. Both units sell for $24.95 and can support items up to 100lbs or 44kg.


For those who Drive

Voice Demo

Knight Rider GPS by MioAs cities get bigger and technology gets affordable, a GPS – Global Positioning System is something that no driver should do without. Not only can they give you driving directions, they can be helpful for finding points of interests, restaurants and gas stations.

So who says that GPSs can’t be fun.

If your loved one is a fan of TV’s Knight Rider - sorry not the new show currently on the tube wit the funky Mustang, but the original from 1982, you’ll be happy to know that K.I.T.T lives. Kitt stands for Knight Industries Two Thousand.

Knight Rider GPS by Mio ($269) has a synchronized active LED synthesized voice display that will provide directions in K.I.T.T’s original voice (William Daniels).  And just like in the show, red LEDs will move in rhythm of the voice guidance along with the signature swoosh-swoosh. And while in the show KITT always said “Hello Michael”, this unit allows for a custom name on start-up. So I would hear: “Greg – Where would you like to go today?” The Knight Rider GPS by Mio adds fun and nostalgia to an otherwise practical GPS unit. I “KITT” you not!

And I almost forgot. It includes full maps of Canada and the US.


For those who Run

TIMEX® IRONMANI guess to be fair; this category is for more than just runners, but rather for anyone that strives to keep a healthy and active lifestyle and especially for those who are also information junkies, who keep track of all the things they do.  So as a gift for that special someone, the TIMEX® IRONMAN* Wireless Fitness Tracker ($125), just might be he right thing.  It’s both a watch and digital transmitter system designed to help users track their daily activities.

It’s easy to use. Simply clip the digital transmitter to your waist and the unit will wirelessly transit laps, steps, distance and calories burnt to the watch.  The watch itself is a fully functional chronograph that includes a 50-lap memory recall. It also stores statistics in a training log. It can keep your workout by date, best lap, average lap, and distance per lap, total calories burnt and more.  It’s also a sleekly designed watch with 3 alarm arms and displays 2 times zones. And in keeping with Timex tradition it features their INDIGLO night-light with NIGHT-MODE feature.


For those who Walk

Flowervest Series by Agent 18It’s hard to find people walking around without an iPod or some other sort of portable music device, but only some keep them in a case of some sort, which of course gives you another gift opportunity, although at first you may not think so.

Cases come in all different shapes, sizes and materials and are used for different reasons. Some use them for portability and practicality, other for a fashion statement or a combination thereof. Others like myself are more concerned with protection trying to avoid that “Oops – I dropped it!”

Those “oops” moments of course, are not covered by warranty.

While there are a number of solutions, one of the popular ones is the silicon slip- case. These cases enable you to keep a nice grip on your unit making it less likely to slip out of your hands. It also acts as a protector without adding excessive bulk.

One unit that comes to mind is the Flowervest Series by Agent 18. Their soft-silicon slip on case, ideally for the ladies, features a vibrant colour case with a different colour flower motif adds a little flair. For something less bold, The Icewear Series by Tuneware features a high-density, semi-transparent silicone cases.

Happy Shopping!


Greg Gazin can be reached at gadgetguy “at” telus “dot” net.




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