Gear We Like
Travel tech news: July 18, 2012
A new crowd-sourced travel site from Wikipedia, an excessively large autofocus lens and rumours flying everywhere about small tablets from large electronics companies started with A.
It’s all in the latest edition of Travel Tech News for July 18.
Will Wikimedia launch its own travel wiki?
Wikimedia, the organisation behind the wildly successful Wikipedia, may be looking to launch its own travel wiki in the coming months. With editors from Wikitravel looking to jump ship after years of underinvestment in the platform from its owners, a new crowd-sourced option could pose a threat to existing heavyweights like Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor if the community gets behind it.
A phone-based version, complete, up-to-date and fully integrated into phone and mapping, would be a significant improvement over the only real existing option, Wikisherpa. Also, given the plagiarism charges often levelled at Wikitravel from other travel site operators it will be interesting to see where the content for any new travel wiki ends up coming from.
Watch this space – the final decision will be made in August.
If your DSLR isn’t big enough by itself…
Nikon is just about to release it’s largest ever autofocus camera lens, a monster 800mm super-telephoto. If getting a close-up of the speck of dust on the nose of that lion a mile way is your priority, without having to worry about inconveniences like having to focus your camera properly, here’s your opportunity!
More importantly, in a world where having all of the gear is often more important than actually having a need for it, an ultimate new travel accessory has just been born.
We haven’t seen pricing for the lens yet, nor the wheelbarrow you’ll need to carry it, but can’t imagine that “bargain” will be one of the words used in the advertising copy…
Is a smaller iPad on the way?
Rumours have circulated for years about the potential of an iPad smaller than the existing 10″ model, and despite Steve Jobs being famously opposed to the idea, the rumour mill continues to heat up around production of a 7-8″ version later this year. Long the domain of cranks and unread blogs, now even reputable sites like Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal are getting in on the act.
It’s not too hard to see why, with the success of the Kindle Fire, strong reviews of the new Galaxy Nexus 7 and the impending Microsoft Surface driving consumers towards smaller, cheaper tablets. Even with the huge success of the existing iPad, the low end of the market is one that Apple can probably no longer afford to ignore.
Of course, you’ll still look like an idiot if you use it as a camera…
Speaking of the Kindle Fire…
Potential specs for the next version of the Kindle Fire are slowly leaking out into public view, and to be honest there aren’t many surprises. The resolution is likely to be upgraded to 1280×800 – the same as the Nexus 7 – and of course the usual phrases like thinner! and lighter! are being bandied around as well.
If there’s nothing else particularly special about it, though, it’ll be interesting to see how it compares to the Google (and potentially Apple and Microsoft) competition. The Fire has sold strongly up until now, but has had no real competitors that weren’t utterly terrible.
With the marketplace becoming increasingly crowded, can it continue to lead the pack? This could well be make or break time for Amazon’s flagship e-reader.