Filter, as you drink: You can stop buying bottled water!
If you are the outdoors type, planning a trekking holiday, you will appreciate the nkd Pod+ water bottle.The 585ml bottle made by UK-based specialist in water purification, nkd, has a multi-layer purification unit in its mouth. The outer layer traps bacteria and larger particles; the inner layers, attacks viruses and removes chlorine and heavy metals with carbon. Instead of carrying and throwing away bottled water, you can use the pod to store and filter tap water where ever available and even refill from safe natural sources.
The Pod+ costs Rs 2,499 and the filter lasts for around 300 refills. Spare filters cost Rs 999. Checkout Amazon, Flipkart etc for some discounts. (We reviewed a similar product, Astreawater, in March 21)
Action! Camera at work: Soak up the action — literally!
There is a new class of cameras in the market these days — for adventurous clickers. It's called Action Camera and is basically a compact digital action for recording action, even as you are immersed in it. Actioncams are therefore very small, rugged and reasonably waterproof. To get into the thick of the action, you can attach such cameras to your helmet, belt, car dashboard or bike handlebar — and it will shoot video as you move.
The most recent action cam to be offered in India is the Noise Play 2, which comes with a 2-inch LCD display, an F/2.8 lens with a wide 166 degree field of view, the ability to shoot ultra HD (4K) video as well as stills in jpeg format. A built in microphone records ambient sounds and a speaker lets you do a quick playback. Recordings are stored on a micro SD card up to 128GB and a 1200mAh rechargeable battery is good for a few hours of shooting. The basic camera currently sells at a discounted price of Rs 9,999 and Rs 2,499 buys an accessory kit which includes water proof housing, handle bar mount, 16 GB memory card etc. Action cams come at various price points up to Rs 30,000 but this is one of the most affordable if you want to shoot 4K video.
Using public Wi-Fi? Take care!: Create your own virtual private network.
The biggest concern for tourists on holiday these days is Wi-Fi . Will they be able to access the Internet where ever they go? Many hotel rooms and lobbies, airport departure and arrival halls, coffee shops and restaurants, offer free Wi-Fi — sometimes you have to obtain a password . This may be OK for a quick mail check — but many wonder: Can I do financial transactions — rebook a ticket say? Short answer: don't. Today hackers lurk in such public places with sophisticated tools. There was a chilling report from a Dutch magazine recently reported by Medium.com, about a hacker in a cafe with a small black device, slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes, with an antenna on it. This was all he needed to hack into every single phone or laptop that was being used in the cafe.
It is sensible to always switch to a VPN or Virtual Private Network when surfing public WiFi. VPNs make you invisible and act as a secure tunnel for your device. Instead of sending your traffic to an unknown router on public Wi-Fi, your device connects to a trusted VPN provider. Check if your browser provides the option of switching to VPN. If not-- at least for your holiday — use a browser like Opera, which comes with VPN. Or install a VPN tool like Norton Wi-Fi Privacy. The best solution is to buy an unlimited data plan for your device and stop using public Wi-Fi altogether. When abroad, buy a local SIM for your mobile phone, with a good data plan for broadband — and do your online commerce in the privacy of your hotel room, using your own SIM.
We're not done! Look for more tech-friendly tips and tools, for your holidays, on this page next week