Kiss those long, agonizing summer car rides with nothing but radio static for kilometres and kilometres goodbye.
New — and in some cases improved — technology has made road-tripping a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable.
David Guthoerl of Visions Electronics says multimedia in vehicle receivers are the latest tech products available that not only make life on the road more leisurely, but a whole lot more convenient too.
“[They’re] really, really cool because they will allow you to screen and mirror what is on your phone and integrate that into a head’s up display in your vehicle.”
Large touchscreen displays allow you to all the things you can do on your phone like making a call or streaming music. Bluetooth technology allows people in vehicles to avoid having to fumble for or fiddle with their phone.
Speaking of Bluetooth, speakers capable of wirelessly pairing with your device aren’t really new, but some new added features have made them more useful.
“We have one that includes Amazon Alexa which not only allows you to listen to your music, but allows you to give voice commands and have the Bluetooth speaker integrate again with your smartphone and perform those commands as needed,” Guthoerl says.
Wireless headphones have also seen some recent improvements, including extended battery life. Many are now also waterproof, which in the eyes of a parent with small ones, can be invaluable, not to mention the fact that on a long road trip, wireless headphones allow kids to listen to their own selections, giving parents a reprieve from endless hours of children’s programming.
Of course all this technology comes with a price tag and in some cases, a very hefty price tag. For those who are more budget-conscious, however, there are many options available that cost very little to absolutely nothing at all that can also help make their travels easier.
Many apps for your mobile device are free or have low in-app costs associated with them. You can find travel-related apps for to help you with everything from finding out where the cleanest restroom to you is to coming up with comprehensive packing lists to free video and voice call apps that can help you avoid costly cellphone charges.
Before you load up your car and your device, however, online security expert David Papp suggests using a VPN (virtual private network).
“So you’ve got these apps — these programs, your email — that are communicating to the internet and they’re going through a tunnel and anybody can look at it. But if you’ve used a VPN, nobody can see it. You’ve got the blackout blinds on,” Papp says as he explains the security benefits of using a VPN when you travel.
So whether you’re spending hundreds of dollars, just a few bucks or nothing at all, there is technology available that will help take the bumps out of any road trip this summer.
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