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I am frequently asked about what technology I carry and use. This is due in large part because I am a futurist and to many people technology and the future are close to synonymous. That of course is not wholly true, but certainly understandable as it is technology that seems to trigger the changes in our lives.
In addition I often have conversations with people who, like me, travel a lot about what technology works best on the road. So here is what I use, like, travel with and therefore heartily recommend as action speaks louder than words. Of course the list below is the current iteration that is different than last year’s or probably next years due to the speed of innovation.
I am making the transition back to Mac after 15 years of PC use. I will probably use both going forward for a while. That said, I am in love with my new MacBook Air with an 11” screen. It literally is intoxicating to open it up and use. It is simply the most beautiful and fastest laptop I have ever used. Why the smallest screen Apple sells? Simple. I write a lot so I can always carry this laptop wherever I go as it only weighs several more ounces that the new iPad, but has a great keyboard, 256 gigs of fast flash memory and a fabulous screen. Anything bigger is not necessary to travel with. Love at every touch.
I travel with the iPod Classic with 120 gigs of storage. I travel a lot, write a lot and work a lot on the road and at home. I therefore have a huge variety of music, 90 gigs of it that I carry with me. This, along with the following two items, allows me to create my personal audio environment wherever I go.
Noise Reduction Earphones
For years I have traveled with Bose noise reduction headphones. I love them and use them at home. The problem I have always had is that they are simply so big that they take up precious space in my briefcase. Fortunately I was introduced to the Westone Series 4 In-Ear Monitors. They fit into the ear and are not much larger that a standard pair of cell phone earpieces. Westone is the company that makes all those ear buds worn by rock stars and other musicians when performing on stage. Simply put they provide great sound, great noise reduction and fit into a hard carrying case smaller than a pack of cigarettes. They are simply the best for great sound and great noise reduction on the road.
When I check into a hotel and the room doesn’t have an iPod docking station [I am continually amazed how many hotels still have basic alarm radios for music] and I am tired of wearing my Westones, I pull out my WOWee base amplifying speaker. Plug this into my iPod, mount the sticky gel backed WOWee on a wood surface – or better yet a glass surface – and I have sound for the room with a solid base beat. This great speaker solves the problem of tinny sound from small portable speakers.
My primary phone is the iPhone 4 and secondary phone is the Android Motorola Atrix . Since I have not had a land line in years and also travel a lot I need a back up cell phone. I also need to experience both the Apple and Google ecosystems as they are and will be the dominant smart phone platforms in the foreseeable future. I am habituated to the iPhone, but have found the Atrix to be faster across the board. I will upgrade to the next version of the iPhone, when Siri is in her new improved iteration.
I carry the Amazon Kindle Fire. I have been a huge fan of Amazon for 15 years and have therefore been a Kindle user since 2008. The Kindle Fire has a gorgeous screen, the whispersync technology so that I can read on both the Fire and, with the Kindle app, on my iPhone and of course, since I am an Amazon Prime customer I get a lot of free video streaming. I do not have an iPad and have never really desired one as I already had the iPhone , the iPod and Kindle when it came out. I do read a lot and the Kindle family of readers are great for travel as I can take all the books I need or want every trip. I do suggest to people that their app phone should be stocked with books as you always have your phone with you so when waiting in line or a late lunch date you can settle in for a 5-10 minute read.
So that is the technology that keeps this futurist productive and happy on the road.