Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Travel

Bob Wiley's Ministar dispenses with the traditional guitar body, which adds little or noth...

Guitarists who travel a lot and want to take an instrument along for the ride - but don't want to risk damaging that prized vintage Strat - might find themselves turning in the direction of a scaled down stand-in. Such solutions come in many different shapes and sizes - from full size instruments with parts that collapse (like Daniel Mapp's Jetson travel guitar concept) to models with a shortened neck and small bodies (such as Martin's Backpacker) to strange-looking beasts with tuners positioned in a hollowed out section of the body (like the Traveler's Speedster). Bob Wiley's Ministar guitars, though, are essentially a bunch of necks with pickups. While there is a model with a shortened 19-inch scale neck, most of the odd-looking electric, acoustic and bass guitars sport full length necks and, says Wiley, play and sound just like the big brand models, but at a fraction of the price - and a fraction of the size.  Read More

Entering names and places in the Lonely Planet Offline Translator helps the speech recogni...

Lonely Planet Publications published its first travel guide in 1973 and has been giving travelers a helping hand on their journeys ever since, growing to become the largest travel guide book company in the world. In 2009, the company dropped the “Publications” from its name to reflect the move to digital products, including its website and smartphone apps. Now the company’s wide selection of city guide and phrasebook apps have been joined by a family of translator apps that allow users to obtain written and – thanks to speech recognition technology – spoken translations offline.  Read More

Purdue University's new app could keep unsuspecting travelers from ordering dishes such as...

Once when I was visiting Montreal, I went into a restaurant and discovered that the menu was entirely in French. Not wanting to admit that I couldn’t read the language, I was instead forced to order the only two things I recognized the names of: Caesar salad and calamari. Had smartphones been around at the time, I definitely could have used Purdue University’s new food translator app. It not only translates the names of foreign-language dishes, but it also tells you what they are and what’s in them.  Read More

Yotel New York features the world's first hotel robotic luggage handler (Image: Yotel)

Marrying space saving efficiency with a touch of 21st Century hospitality, Yotel hotels treat guests to a fully automated check-in service featuring Yobot, a theatrically lit robotic baggage drop-off machine that creates a mechanical performance for guests as it loads and stores their belongings. The robot porter is just the beginning of the novel hotel experience offered by Yotel, a capsule style hotel chain with locations in London, New York and Amsterdam.  Read More

Mophie's Juice Pack Powerstation charger for the iPhone, iPod, iPad and all devices that c...

For the rest of 2011, I'm visiting a new country every week or two. I'm not the biggest fan of getting lost, asking for directions, or getting ripped off by taxi drivers, so keeping my iPhone's battery charged is high on my list of priorities. I came across Mophie's Juice Pack Powerstation while I was doing my pre-travel gadget shopping, and was surprised at how small, light and cheap the unit was. So how does it stack up?  Read More

A Room for London - The captivating Sanzpont entry

Commissioned by Living Architecture and Artangel, the challenge of "A Room for London" was to design a one-bedroom temporary installation to be perched on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, well known to be one of London's most visible sites. The project attracted the attention of 500 architects worldwide and the winning design went to a beautifully crafted timber boat structure from David Kohn and Fiona Banne, but it was the remarkable design from Spanish architects Sanzpont which really caught our eye.  Read More

The Elite Car and Castle Tour features 15 supercars (Photo by Como Travel)

Taking in the sights of a foreign land by car isn't a new approach to tourism, but this variation on the theme provides an extra injection of speed – supercar speed. The "Elite Car and Castle Tour" merges old world British castles with high adrenaline track days and luxury driving in 15 of the hottest cars in the world including the Aston Martin DB9 Volante and V12 Vantage, Audi R8, Bentley GT Convertible, Ferrari 430 F1 Spider and California, Jaguar XF, Porsche 997 Turbo PDK, Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder and Maserati Quattroporte.  Read More

Rand McNally's RV-tailored TripMaker RVND 5510 GPS

With RV's generally used to take their drivers off their beaten tracks, a GPS is pretty much an essential piece of kit on the dash of such vehicles. Aside from dealing with unfamiliar routes, RV drivers also face their own specific route requirements that drivers of smaller vehicles don't have to deal with – as any RV driver who has found themselves at the end of a dead end road and having to carry out a 27 point turn will attest to. While there are a number of GPS units designed for larger vehicles, including trucks, Rand McNally says its new TripMaker RVND 5510 is the first GPS navigation device designed specifically for RVers.  Read More

Vistors can raid the Prince's wine cellars at Vaduz Castle (Image: Mschlindwein via Flickr...

Liechtenstein is available for rent .... or at least enough of it to cater for 150 guests at a time. That's the deal being offered by marketing company Rent a Village and as you might expect for a Central European landlocked country, the asking price is quite steep at US$70,000 per night ... plus there's a minimum two-night stay. Those that can put together the necessary cash will be treated to a symbolic key to the state presentation upon arrival – either at the new state parliament or in front of the government building – and be able to enjoy all that Liechtenstein has to offer. With the country nestled in the Alps between Switzerland and Austria, this will mainly consist of picturesque mountain villages and winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and snowshoe hiking.  Read More

BAE Systems and Design Q have been working on some luxury concept plane interiors in the A...

We've come a long way from the early days of aviation. Aircraft cabins used to have more in common with our living rooms; seats were over-stuffed armchairs you could push around, and in-flight entertainment was a game of backgammon or bridge. It's tempting sometimes to wish for a return to those days – now it's more about either squeezing more people in, or providing a more comfortable experience only for those who can afford it. In this article, we're going to take a look at some new cushy options for your tush, and some others that seem quite outlandish ...  Read More

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