One of the least popular blogs in terms of readership but one of my personal favorites is the reality of mobility blogs. On occasion as new products appear I love to revisit this topic. Why? Well for the most part I am a geek. For the larger part I am often out and about. Lastly and probably the most relevant to this blog is I am a gadget person.
To borrow from the “what’s in your wallet” campaign and modify it a bit to create a new “what’s in your bag when you travel?” campaign. What do you have (or soon will have) in your bag that makes you able to work anywhere.
Always with me is the first category of mobile devices. I can honestly say this is the most volatile gadget category. It depends first on how long I am going to be away and also where I am going. Going to Europe or Asia, you need number one a power adapter. Going for more than a week, you need some kind of entertainment device. Normally that would be either my iPad or iPhone. I do, when heading off for a long trip still carry a kindle. But I don’t carry the kindle as often with its new storage model (it used to compress audible books, now it doesn’t. I get the audio quality issue but still I would like the compression or at the very least give me the option to move Audible books to external storage). I don’t carry a number of gadgets I sued to back in the day (portable Sirius radio, GPS). I do carry virtually everywhere a portable speaker. Currently it is the JBL (that also acts as a power bank for devices). The JBL is a little larger than the speaker it replaces (the Jambox) but it is a lot more versatile and the sound is much better. I used to also carry a Wi-Fi hub that took a USB key from the carrier (T-Mobile or AT&T) and allowed me to connect my devices quickly to the Internet. Now I used to use the build in hotspot and don’t need that device anymore.
Soon to be with me is the Panoptic. A video camera designed to support 360-degree video conferencing. That will be a great addition to add hock meetings. I used to carry my Ebeam with me, but that mostly is used at home now. For portable white boarding I use the Apple Pencil and the Zumari software package. Both of which are effective and with the iPad I can quickly create a whiteboard on a web meeting to share the information fast.
Over the years I have gone from the Zune (I miss the Zune) to the iPod to the iPad. I keep my music library (MP3) on a USB key so I don’t fill my iPad storage. Dish Network’s hoppers will transfer video from your DVR to your iPad (or Android tablet) as long as they are on the same network. So using the Dish Anywhere application I can move TV shows over. So far I’ve done that three times, ever. Watching live TV remotely is so much easier. (you can do that with the Hopper from Dish on your devices).
My bag used to weigh 10-12 Kg. It now weighs just under 14 pounds (or around 6 kg). I have a portable printer that I got a separate case for, but I don’t carry that with me often anymore. It is fun to have when you need it but printing is no longer the be all, end all. Well it still is, just something you can do when not with customer’s and bring to them rather than producing right then and there. I don’t carry a hard drive anymore (they actually don’t like the shaking). I do carry a couple of first aid items just in case. I also carry a couple USB keys to transport information quickly. Mostly though I just email files to people the USB keys are normally to transfer information from people to me.
All of this is evolving and continuing to evolve. Solar powered bags (with backup batteries) are becoming more and more prevalent and less and less heavy. That evolutions are something I am considering in particular the Go-Bag series. (you can find them on Kickstarter). Eventually I won’t need multiple external batteries just in case.
The funny thing about being a gadget person is that I always carry around more things than most people do. Now I find that I carry around one or two devices and a few add ones for those devices to replace the many gadgets I once carried. I no longer have a portable weather station (plug ins for my IPad and iPhone replaced that) nor do I carry external hard drives (USB keys replaced). I will continue to carry devices that solve problems important to me (like do I really need an umbrella today?) But now they are smaller and easier to move around.
I promise, last mobility device blog for August 2016. Besides with the advent of the Internet of Things (Cyber Physical Systems) soon all I will need is my phone and time to connect!