Samsung Gear S2
Samsung takes aim at the Apple Watch with the release of Gear S2. The newest entry into the wearable market comes with a stainless steel body and replaceable leather band. A rotating bezel allows users to easily navigate apps including Twitter, Yelp, Nike+ and more. Samsung also introduces its own health-tracking capabilities as well as Samsung Pay, with an ecosystem growing every day. Other Gear S2 features include media storage for up to 300 songs, stylish watch faces by Atelier Mendini and optional 3G connectivity. $299.99–349.99.
If you find yourself disappointed by Siri, virtual assistance reaches new heights with Amazon Echo, a voice command device built out of a wireless speaker and microphone array, all housed in a black cylinder. The device looks impressive, but the real power is in its speech recognition ability. Trigger the device by saying “Alexa,” allowing you to check your calendar, get weather reports, play Pandora and more. While the device was made fully available summer 2015, Amazon Prime members had a year to play around with Echo, saying its voice recognition improves over time. Amazon is simultaneously unveiling new features. $179.99.
Icontrol Piper nv
With the advent of smartphones and Web 2.0, home security is no longer an expensive undertaking. Many companies offer a variety of monitoring solutions, but Icontrol’s Piper nv aims to be the complete DIY security solution. It features a 3.4-megapixel camera that can pan, tilt, zoom and even do a four-panel split screen, but Piper offers more than video monitoring. Motion and sound detectors are built into the device, which can trigger a 105dB alarm. The microphone allows two-way audio communication through Icontrol’s feature-rich app. Piper also has a Z-Wave hub, allowing you to link your other smart products to the device, like digital locks and smart thermostats. $279.
Apple iPad Pro
Apple’s latest offering is the flagship iPad Pro, the 12.9-inch follow-up to its popular line of tablets. Unlike the Air and the Mini, the Pro aims to replace the computer as your primary work device. iPad Pro provides 78 percent more screen space combined with a desktop-grade, 64-bit A9X chip, which is 1.8 times faster than the Air 2’s CPU. Using technology from the iMac with Retina 5K display, the iPad Pro offers a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels, calculating to 226 pixels per square inch. Other features include a four-speaker audio system, 10-hour battery life, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.2-megapixel front camera and the new Apple Pencil. 32GB $799; 128GB $949; 128GB with 4G $1,079.
Situated deep within the Scottish Highlands, just steps from many lakes and mountains, lies 57 Nord. This collection of two design-led boutique hideaways blends the region’s Norse-Gael heritage by incorporating Scottish craftsmanship, modern Scandinavian design and panoramic views into both structures.
Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.
Oslo’s Art Deco connections just grew stronger with the opening of Sommerro, housed within a historic building in the city’s West End neighborhood of Frogner. The structure itself was once the location of the city’s original electrical company, Oslo Lysverker. The conversion to urban, luxury lodging features 231 guestrooms, 56 residences, seven restaurant and bar options, and meeting and event spaces for up to 150 people. There’s also a 100-seat gilded theater and expansive wellness space, including a full-service gym and Oslo’s first, year-round rooftop pool, sauna and terrace.
Key West International Airport recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of its $100 million expansion. Roman Gastesi, administrator, Monroe County; Richard Strickland, director of airports; and others attended the ceremony and outlined details of the Concourse A terminal expansion project.
IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.
Adventure tour operator Explore Worldwide recently conducted a study to find the most underrated travel experiences around the world. The operator analyzed more than 350 lesser-known destinations and experiences across more than 130 countries, ranking them based on how high its Trip Advisor score fared against how many people actually reviewed the activity and how many Google searches the experience received.
Lodging and hospitality company Angama announced the November 2023 opening of Angama Amboseli, an intimate, 10-suite lodge set in Kenya’s private, 5,700-acre Kimana Sanctuary, against the iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, located just across the border in Tanzania.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
There is nothing better than the gift of travel. Instead of giving your loved ones material items, give them an experience they will never forget. This year, Emerald Cruises offers excellent Black Friday deals on Europe and Southeast Asia river cruises, as well as on the latest collection of luxury ocean yacht sailings on Emerald Azzurra and Emerald Sakara.