In travel, as in all else, wonders will never cease. The single most widely-discussed topic in travel is currently a clothing product called the “Swiss Army Jacket”. It’s the brainchild of a young couple operating under the name of Baubax which they plan to offer for sale this coming November for about $99. They raised the funds to manufacture the Swiss Army Jacket through voluntary contributions from a posting on Kickstarter, which sent them nearly three million dollars.
So enthusiastic were the funders of the Swiss Army Jacket that various retail shops are now frantically ordering a supply to put on sale. A witty take-off
on the “Swiss Army Knife” (that gadget that performs a dozen or so knife-like functions within one pocket knife), the handsome ‘Swiss Army Jacket” (for both men and women) performs 15 separate functions in addition to providing the normal functions of a warm jacket.
Thus, the top of the Swiss Army Jacket contains an inflatable, attached neck pillow for enabling you to sleep on an overnight flight. Near the neck of the jacket are eye masks fastened by an unobtrusive string to blot out sleep-interfering light. Inside the jacket are three zippered pockets for your passport, your cellphone, and a charger for your cellphone, insuring those valuable items against loss or theft. Again on the inside are zippered pockets for your cellphone-accessing earphones and for your iPad. On the outside, a receptacle for your eyeglasses. And along the sleeve are pockets for two gloves, should you need them for cold weather. Several other “holders” are unobtrusively placed elsewhere on the jacket, both inside and outside, making it a secure location for your valuable travel accessories.
Amazingly enough, the resulting garment does not look bulky or distended, but is a rather fashionable item of apparel that you can wear without embarrassment. And its enclosures virtually insure you against loss of your travel valuables, of the sort that we travelers too often lose on our passage through security lines at airports. How many of you have lost a cellphone that was casually placed in a plastic tray as you emptied your pockets prior to walking through an electronic security gate?
The “Swiss Army Jacket” comes in several different colors and styles. Based on initial reactions from the members of “Kickstarter”, a “crowd-funding start-up, it will enjoy a commercial success. You have now been well advised of that in this blog.
A somewhat less-promising travel start-up is the company that is creating “Flytographer” personnel in scores and scores of cities around the world. “Flytographer” is for travelers who wish to record their travels in different destinations on photos of themselves and their travel companions. Too often, that desire can be fulfilled only in an inadequate selfie that doesn’t really result in an attractive photograph. And when those travelers desiring photos of themselves in a famous location ask a bystander to take a picture of themselves and their companions, the result is a badly-cropped photograph that doesn’t have the drama of a well-posed shot.
Enter Flytographer, which recruits skilled photographers in cities around the world to take pictures requested by tourists—for which the Flytographer assesses a reasonable hourly fee. Arriving in Paris and desirous of a shot against the Eiffel Tower, you phone the Flytographer in that city to meet you and take a professional photograph of yourself and your travel companions. Though you pay $30 or $40 for that service, you end up with well-posed, professionally-shot photographs that you will be proud to display in frames placed on the piano in your living room or in scrapbooks of your travels.
Flytogtrapher claims to have personnel awaiting your calls in numerous popular destinations around the world. I recommend it with hesitation only because of the expense needed to satisfy your desire for a picturesque, travel memento.