Great Finds at the #TNTFtWorth Tech and Travel Roadshow

I’m a bit of a tech junkie and so I was thrilled to get an invite from Techlicious and Traveling Moms for the Tech and Travel Roadshow held recently in Fort Worth.

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It was held at the Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel and Spa, which has recently undergone a major remodel. Now, let me start this off by saying that, being in the DFW area only three months, I had not yet had the chance to visit Fort Worth. Being from Chicago and used to horrendous traffic getting in and out of the city, I was blown away by the ease of getting into the city and around the city to the hotel. Given the ease of getting around Fort Worth, the Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel and Spa would make an awesome base for exploration (and there’s always Sheraton’s Sweet Sleeper bed to look forward to at the end of the day. And did I mention there was a spa?)

Fitting in with the “tech and travel” theme was news that with the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) Life app, you can check out of your room with your smart phone – it will even turn your smart phone into a room key! Now that’s handy! With a new partnership with Uber, SPG members can also earn and use SPG points for Uber services, too.

I had the chance to chat with reps from the Consumer Electronics Association – they had brought along some pretty fantastic auto tech. Did you know that the average car on the road is 11 years old? That means that much of the cars you encounter are NOT equipped with things like Bluetooth for your phone or music, better audio or satellite radio or current technology that is intended to prevent driver distraction. But did you know that there are now after-market products that, with the help of a certified installer, can bring your car technology current?

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They had three devices from iSimple that can make your life easier (and safer). The one I thought was especially relevant, given the number of people I see on the road holding their phones is the iSimple Tranzit BLU HF will allow you to make calls hands-free AND listen to music from your phone or streaming services. No more ear-pieces when you are having what my husband calls “windshield time”, be it a business call or a call to family. You can find out more at www.isimplesolutions.com

Another item that I was really excited about – given a household of avid iPhone and iPod users – was Verizon’s Delphi Connect Mobile Hotspot. It plugs into your car and provides 4G of wi-fi, perfect for long car trips. Now the kids can stream all the movies they want and I won’t have to worry about my 11-year-old using up all my data on the next road trip.

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(Oh – and parents of new drivers might be interested to learn that you can use its mobile app with the device’s GPS to locate your vehicle easily or view a mapped log of every trip, and you can set up email & text message alerts to keep track of your vehicle’s location. You really can keep an eye on that teenage driver!)

While there I was also introduced to HEXBUG Micro Robotics Creatures. They were developed to give children an introduction to robotics. Anything that combines STEM learning and fun is a great find, and my 9-year-old science nut of a daughter is happily in the middle of building the VEX Ant that I was given at the conference. Its 150 pieces snap together and operates by remote control or can run on its own, and the sensors in its tail and antenna tell it how to respond as it bumps into things. (I know she is looking forward to seeing how our dog responds to it. Poor pup!)  I’ll have more on the HEXBUG Ant on an upcoming post.
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Visit Fort Worth was also at the conference. I had NO idea there were so many great attractions in the area, and since I’ve opted not to over schedule the kids this summer with crazy activities, given the short drive I think we’ll be spending quite a bit of time there exploring the city. I’m particularly excited to check out the Stockyards and take in a Rodeo.

Of course, what’s a luncheon without food – and the Sheraton did not disappoint. We were greeted with some lovely cocktails and mocktails, and I was happy to get to put a face to bloggers local to the area while we sampled them.

Another treat was watching Chef Ana prepare guacamole just like she makes it at home. It was delicious (and she shared the recipe with us. Yay!)  The rest of lunch was pretty delicious, too, but I made room for pie. (There’s always room for pie.)

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The Traveling Moms shared some favorite travel tips and products, too. Since I’m an AT&T girl, I was happy to know that AT&T also offers mobile wifi via a GoPhone Mobile WiFIHotspot. It provides 4G LTE mobile broadband on the go and lets you connect up to 10 devices!

Before I left for the day, I was able to check out one of the many GM vehicles that they had available for test drives. I checked out the Chevrolet Suburban, and I have to say, I was impressed by the space and the features. Although, honestly, the air-cooled seats might have sealed the deal given the hot Texas summers, I think my kids would be happy to find the many power ports and USB connectors as well as the 4G LTE onboard wifi available via OnStar. The hands-free lift gate is something else that is on my next-car checklist.

It was a great day, and I learned a lot! Techlicious (@Techlicious) and Traveling Moms (@TravelingMoms) always have great ideas and information when it comes to family travel and current technology!

Comments

  1. great info here! can’t wait to check it all out 🙂

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