Travel tech news: March 28, 2012

Every two weeks we bring you the latest news in travel technology from around the world. Here are our latest picks.


A glimmer of sense with electronics on planes.  Perhaps.

Turn off devices

In a shocking example of common sense, the Federal Aviation Administration has announced that it is taking a “fresh look” at the ban on (some) electronics being used during plane take-off and landing.

Sure it doesn’t include cellphones, sure it makes no promises and sure it is at least a decade overdue.

But at least it is something, and there is a slight hope that in a few years regulations might catch up with technology.  Eventually I might even be allowed to keep reading my Kindle or playing Angry Birds as the plane taxis down the runway.

What a glorious day that would be.


Wash your clothes on the road with a Scrubba


Firmly in the backpacker accessory category, a new invention out of Australia promises clean, fresh smelling clothes without having to (a) carry a washing machine with you or (b) pay somebody else.

A modern take on the old washboard system, the Scrubba bag weighs about the same as a pair of jeans and requires only two litres of water, some soap/shower gel and 30 seconds of scrubbing on a hard surface to clean your laundry.

Easier washing = fewer clothes required = travelling lighter.  We like this a lot.


Now that’s really off the beaten track…

DeepSea Challenger launch

A couple of days ago film director James Cameron took ‘getting away from it all’ to a whole new level when he reached the deepest point in the ocean inside his custom-built DeepSea Challenger submersible.

The bottom of the Mariana Trench is nearly 11km below the surface, southwest of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, but a new spinning vertical craft design allowed Cameron to reach the bottom in a little over two and a half hours.

After several hours looking around and gathering samples, Cameron jettisoned weights attached to the sub and shot back the surface in around 70 minutes.

Not a bad sort of a day trip, I guess.


Sailing down the Amazon with the click of a mouse

Google Maps Amazon

To celebrate World Forest Day last week, Google publically released its breathtaking images of the Amazon via Street View.  Except, well, there are no streets – travel in this part of the world is only by river and occasional jungle track

If the wildlife or your budget have put you off a real boat ride down the world’s largest river, you can now get a sense of the experience from your own living room.


Images via Kai Hendry, Scrubba, National Geographic, Google Maps


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