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11 Off-the-Beaten-Path Tech Solutions for Your Next Vacation

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“Roughing it” can be an incredibly rewarding way to experience the world and find independence. But let’s face it—if you’re setting forth into new terrain, it’s generally smart, safe, and more satisfying to stay plugged in. Here’s a sampling of apps and programs that can help make for an all-around better trip, no matter where you’re headed. 

1. MAKE LAST MINUTE TRAVEL PLANS

A big part of the fun of a carefree, off-the-beaten-path vacation is not knowing exactly where you’ll end up. As such, this sort of adventure usually entails last-minute travel. Luckily, there are apps designed just for those who fly by the seat of their pants, such as flight data company Hopper’s cheekily named Get the Flight Out

2. AND LAST MINUTE SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS

If you haven’t booked your flight in advance, odds are you haven’t booked your hotel or hostel either. Hotel Tonight is one of many apps that specialize in zero hour organization. Of course, you could likely find yourself in a town or city where reputed hotels are sparse; hostels, on the other hand, are rarely in short supply. Hostelworld is a pretty reliable resource to land a bed with little notice. 

3. KNOW WHAT’S WHERE 

Those of us brave enough to travel without an itinerary might need a bit of help making our way around a new city. If you find yourself ambling aimlessly around an unfamiliar neighborhood, the all-purpose Around Me app can point you in the direction of whatever you need: a hostel, some food, a cash machine, or local attractions. 

4. CHOOSE A RESTAURANT 

Local cuisine can be the greatest part of visiting a new part of the world, so you might want a more discerning eye than an all-purpose business locator to steer you in the right direction. Some specialized apps for finding the right meals—whether your principal priority be price, authenticity, or just good taste—include Urban Spoon and the more visually inclined Foodspotting. Both of these automatically search your surrounding area, which helps if you don’t quite know where you are! 

5. SEE THE SIGHTS 

The benefit of guided tours is that participants walk away with a few interesting tidbits of information about the city they have come to visit. That said, these tours can prove a slog in the pacing of your day. To get the best of both worlds—a surveillance of the town at the speed of your choosing and some education to boot—a number of apps, such as HearPlanet or Wikitude, can sync up to nearby historical or cultural attractions in order to send you pertinent information. 

6. VISIT MUSEUMS YOUR OWN WAY 

More and more major art and science museums have been adapting to technology by creating apps to help tourists during their in-person visits. These apps range in function from providing additional information on exhibits to helping you navigate some of the larger institutions. 

7. LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR 

If you’re inclined to travel halfway around the world at a moment’s notice, you’re probably going to need a little help permeating the language barrier. One particularly nifty app for translating foreign text is Google Translate’s Word Lens. When you come across a sign, book page, or menu printed in a language you do not speak, take a snapshot with the Word Lens app to produce a fully translated version of the text. 

8. STAY ALIVE IN THE WILDERNESS

Let’s say that you’re really out to rough it. A camping vacation can be especially invigorating if you’ve got a few survival skills up your sleeve. If you don’t, the SAS Survival Guide provides almost everything you’ll need: detailed literature, video tutorials, photo guides to animal tracks and poisonous berries, and a good deal more. 

9. AND HAVE FUN THERE, TOO! 

If you’re going to commit yourself to the wild, you may as well have something to show for it. Project Noah is an online community that lets you document and share photos of the varied exemplary flora and fauna with which you cross paths during your off-the-grid travels. 

10. SHARE THE LOVE WITH FRIENDS BACK HOME 

If letter writing is a dying art, postcard writing is six feet under. But apps like I Am Here allow you to share the exact location of any pit stop with friends and family, while Postcard on the Run allows you to design and send instant personalized photo messages. (Just a tip: “Wish you were here” is a bit cliché.) 

11. CAPTURE THE MOMENT 

Finally, one of the biggest joys in visiting new places is taking pictures and making videos to chronicle just how special a time you had. While a standard camera might do the trick here, up the ante on your cinematic prowess with Movie Looks HD, which can turn your run-of-the-mill home movie into something worthy of the big screen.

Use technology to turn your next vacation into the trip of a lifetime. New innovations from Intel can help you chart your adventures, document your memories, and keep you connected on your travels. Learn more here.

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11 Things You Didn't Know You Needed to Measure
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A simple measurement—made even easier by photo measuring technology—will save you wasted time, energy, and effort in the following scenarios. It never hurts to arm yourself with as much information as possible, especially now that innovative technology has put accurate, easy measurements at your fingertips. 

1. Doorframes and Hallways in Your New Apartment Building 

Even if you don’t live in New York City, where cramped stairwells and impossibly small apartments are just part of the charm, you’ll want to know ahead of time which of your current furniture will actually make it into the new apartment. Sure you love your four-poster bed frame or oversized couch, but if it doesn’t even fit through the building’s front door, wouldn’t you rather know that before moving day? 

2. Every Room in Your House, For When You Spot the Perfect Addition 

Even if it’s not new, every house is a work in progress. Be prepared to pick up the perfect statement piece to complete the look with photos of each room that you can measure whenever you happen to spy a great work of art or end table when you’re out and about. 

3. How Much Your Nieces/Nephews/Grandkids Have Grown

Of course you’re going to take a picture of the kids whenever you see them, and now when you say, “My, you’ve grown so much since last time!” you’ll be able to check how much is so much.

4. Your Snowmen 

Tap into your competitive side next time there’s a substantial snowfall and challenge friends and family to a snowman-building contest. When they’re all complete, snap a photo and measure up—award points for both size and style. In fact, the competitors don’t even have to be in the same place for this contest to work. Build your respective snowmen and share the photos amongst yourselves. 

5. How Much Air You Got 

Whether you’re jumping off the diving board or leaping off the ice for a triple axel, have someone document your athletic endeavors and later you can find just how much air you got. If you’re serious about your sport, do this regularly and you can plot your progress. 

6. The Inside Of Your Stove 

Especially if you’re in one of those tiny city apartments. Don’t let yourself buy that giant baking sheet (think of all the cookies!) just to find out it can’t fit in your stove; same goes for oversized casserole dishes. Before you stock your kitchen, make sure you know the dimensions of the oven space itself so you don’t end up with a bunch of useless supplies. 

7. The Distance Between an Outlet and Whatever You’re Plugging In 

This is especially important if you’re talking about an outdoor outlet. Don’t get too carried away with your plans for the perfect poolside margarita maker setup (or other electronic) without first making sure the cord will reach. It’s an easy fix—all you need is an extension cord—but better to know that before your party is in full swing. 

8. Window Height For Curtains

Maybe you think—like many of us did—that curtains are a one-size-fits-most kind of product, but unless you want the lower half of your body exposed or the curtains dragging on the floor, make sure you measure the height of your windows before ordering a set. Skip the rickety stepladder and just take a picture of the windows to get an accurate, reliable measurement.   

9. A Homemade Bookshelf

The beauty of building something from scratch is that you can make it exactly the size you need. Which means you need to figure out exactly what that size is. Consider not just the space you’re going to fit it into but also what it will hold—like if you have any especially tall books you need to take into account or anything else you plan to store there. 

10. Things That Are Just the Right Size

Do your friends have a TV that is large enough to gather around but not overwhelming or a love seat that comfortably sits two but still might fit in your small living room? They might not remember the dimensions of whatever it is you’re coveting but armed with photo measuring technology you can find out in just a snap. 

11. A New Appliance 

Appliances are a big purchase—physically and financially. Make sure you’re plenty prepared by measuring all the different dimensions that might come into play before you head out to compare models. 

From making sure your appliances fit to tracking your family’s literal growth, it’s time to put your photographs to work for you. Intel® RealSense™ technology can turn any snapshot into a useful measuring stick. Learn more here.

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11 Ways a 2 in 1 Device Gets You the Best of Both Worlds
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Phones, tablets, and computers for work, laptops for gaming—we don’t have enough hands to carry all the devices we need to use on a daily basis! By exchanging your tablet and laptop for a 2 in 1 device you can streamline your computing and lighten your load—without having to make any sacrifices. Here are 11 ways using a 2 in 1 device can help you have it all. 

1. Use It at Work… 

2 in 1 devices inspired by Intel feature the Intel® Core™ M processor, which boasts processing speeds far greater those of its competitors. This means they pack enough power to take on a full day of meetings, presentations, assignments… 

2. … or at Play 

… and games. Your computer use doesn’t stop when you leave the office, and neither do the benefits of your 2 in 1. In addition to increased processing power, Intel-powered 2 in 1 devices feature graphics that are sharper and more vibrant than older models, so you can fully enjoy the visuals of your favorite game. Transform your laptop into a tablet with a flip, swivel, or by detaching the keyboard and you can use it to entertain yourself on your commute or on the couch.

3. It’s Practical… 

When used with its keyboard and mouse trackpad, your 2 in 1 feels as comfortable as your trusty old laptop (but with twice its battery life). It can run Windows, Office, and your favorite desktop apps and Internet browsers. 

4. … and Edgy 

And yet, it’s far from your ordinary laptop. With their razor-thin design, Intel-powered 2 in 1s are ultra sleek, modern, and sexy. 

5. Use it On the Go… 

But the slim design is about more than just looks: 2 in 1s are approximately half the weight of your older laptop and tablet combo, which makes them perfect for taking with you throughout the day. They also have a battery life that outlasts your older laptop or tablet (you can watch hours of HD videos on a single charge), so there’s no need for you to stay within a cord’s reach of an outlet. 

6. … or from the Comfort of Your Home 

2 in 1s offer something for the whole family: You’ll love that you can easily get work done remotely and on your own time, and your kids will love its gaming capabilities. The large screen means you can flip your 2 in 1 into tent mode and comfortably settle in for a family movie night.

7. Use it to Multitask… 

Switch seamlessly from your spreadsheet to your design project to your game with your 2 in 1 thanks to its powerful processor. The 5th generation Intel® Core™ processor family also powers new technologies like facial recognition and voice control, so you can easily switch between tasks—just say the word. 

8. … or Immerse Yourself 

Intel-powered 2 in 1s feature Ultra HD displays, which have up to four times the pixels of full HD. Pop on your headphones and get lost in your game or video—it’s never looked so good. 

9. It’s Reliable… 

The Intel Core M processor with Intel® vPro™ technology features built-in security features that help protect your data, user identities, and network access, so you never have to worry about taking your business home or on the road.

10. … and Flexible 

While your 2 in 1 may be dependable, it’s far from boring. Available in detachable or convertible models, you can switch your device from a laptop to a tablet at the drop of a hat. Spontaneity is the spice of life, and with a 2 in 1 device you can be prepared to go wherever the wind takes you. 

11. You Get More Value… for Less Money. 

In switching to a 2 in 1 device you are not only lightening your physical load—for which your briefcase or backpack will thank you—but are also going easier on your wallet. Intel-powered 2 in 1s, like the Pavilion 15 or 17, can be yours for less than $400. 

By pairing high performance power with a slim, mobile design, Intel-powered 2 in 1 devices give you the best of both worlds. Learn more here.

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