12 Winter Gadgets – Travel and Snow 2008

Well, winter is almost upon us so I thought it appropriate to list 12 gadgety things that are also pretty much in keeping with winter and travel for those of you that like to be active and not hibernate like the rest of us!

  • If you can find enough snow, the Sno-Baller is the lazy person’s way to create perfect snowballs. It features long handles to prevent soggy gloves and frozen fingers and comes in red, blue, pink, and green, so you could even use them in snowy team games. A brrrrrrgain at £7.50 each.

Or you could go for the Snowball Blaster: This snowballing weapon sculpts upto 3 snowballs at a time and then, using the internal slingshot, fire them at your neighbours, friends, enemies or random cats from a safe distance of 50 feet.

  • The hassle of having to take your gloves off to use your iPhone is a real pain. Solution: DOTS gloves. They have a couple of little balls on the fingertips which you can use to operate your gadgets without freezing your pinkies off – they’ll work nicely with your touchscreen lovelies. Only $15 – $20.

  • Whilst you’re out on the road there’s no need to give your faithful mouse a hard-time. The traveler-friendly Roll-up Mouse Pad also features a 4-port USB hub and dual, side-firing speakers. It’s not the highest quality gadget but for $22 this could make that hotel suite a little bit more inviting for you.

  • Why not take a folding mouse with you whilst you’re at it? Microsoft’s made a winner with the Arc Mouse.  It’s highly portable, well built and folds up to take up less space but once unfurled it sits nice in your palm.

  • Bluetooth technology has been finding its way into ski gear for a while now.  Swany have shoved a Bluetooth module, speaker and microphone into one of the g.cell gloves. When it detects an incoming call, it gives your wrist a shake and enables you to quite literally talk to the hand. It’ll cost you $495 for the smug feeling of not having to unzip your toasty coat and fumble with your phone just to answer that call.

  • Ardica have brought a heating system that will fit under your jacket that also charges your gadgets at the same time. Ardica’s ‘Moshi’ personal heating power system uses a Lithium Ion battery that can provide 25 watts and up to 100 degrees of toasty warmth while weighing less than 300g.

The cost of the personal power system separately for $145 (around £90) from Arcadia’s website.  You’ll just have to get used to plugging your coat into the wall.

  • Another clever coat is Burton’s new Audex winter warmer. Described as a “communication-cum-entertainment jacket” it promises to keep you entertained from the piste to going out on the….. pub crawl. It’s powered by Motorola technology and this sleek piece of snowboard gear is Bluetooth-enabled, meaning wireless music and calls. All you have to do is slip it on, connect your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone to the panel wirelessly, and hook up your iPod via hidden wires within the jacket – speakers and a microphone are located in the hood. Once you’re connected you can operate your gadgets via a control panel stitched into the sleeve. At the mo you can only get one by visiting Burton’s Stateside outlet online at www.burton.com . Prices start from $600 (around £340).

  • If you stay in the UK it’ll get blooming cold but probably will be too wet to snow – so here is iSnow! It’s pushed as being a non-toxic polymer material which you add water to in order to create artificial snow. Indoor snowball fights a-go-go! 🙂

  • If you’re gonna be all outdoorsy you might as well get some kit that wont go fizz bang when things get a little moist.  Overboard are doing a deal for £40.00.  You get a pair of waterproof earbuds as well as a waterproof iPod Case.  A steal if you’re gonna be boarding, skiing or just wondering around the North of England……

  • I’m one of those people that can’t travel without half a dozen things that need recharging (generally at the same time) and if you’re anything like that you will have noticed the lack of power points in budget hotels and even some not so thrifty ones.  Their tendancy of putting the points away from the deks is also pretty darned frustrating! Thank you Belkin and your Travel powerstrip. It boasts three surge protected AC outlet plugs, and will also charge two USB devices – sorted.

  • If your mobile hasn’t got A-GPS and you plan on exploring different counties you could come unstuck. Short of upgrading your current blower and signing up for an unbearably long contact you can kiss ad hoc wayfinding via your mobile goodbye.  That is until now. German company Sagem Orga has paired up with BlueSky Positioning and developed a SIM card with built in A-GPS. It will plot user positions using satellite data and triangulations from phone masts. With one of these SIMs on board, even cheap handset users could access proper navigation software.

“The SIM is entering a new era where it can now be considered as a real service platform and a valuable device; the A-GPS enabled SIM card will reshape the way SIM card are perceived by MNOs and end-users,” said Sagem Orga’s François Blanchard.

If there are other things out there that need mentioning why not let us all know 🙂