In 2012, Americans took 460 million business trips, with 21 percent of those trips for events and meetings. For the entrepreneur looking to shave pounds off her suitcase, these six tech tools are lightweight, easy to use and ideal for turning any location into a workspace.
1. Logitech BCC950 conference cam – Videoconferencing doesn’t have to be expensive with the lightweight Logitech BCC950 conference cam, which costs $249.99. The device, which works with Mac and PC, supports Full HD 1080 video and provides clear audio. Control the device from the unit base or via remote control. The Logitech cam works with Microsoft Lync or with Skype for ease of use.
2. MiFi device – MiFi offers entrepreneurs a secure, personal Wi-Fi network that uses cell signals to connect to the web. MiFi can help you check email on the go and browse the web in areas where you cannot get wireless service. It even helps you multitask in meetings. Since companies offering MiFi devices include Novatel, Verizon Wireless and Sprint, prices vary by device manufacturer. Android and iPhone devices can also be turned into personalized Wi-Fi hotspots, similar to MiFi devices.
Photo by nDevilTV via Wikimedia Commons
3. iPad Air – If you’ve been a tablet holdout, the new iPad Air may hook you. New York Times reviewer Damon Darlin found that the 16-ounce device was easy to hold for marathon gaming or work sessions, and its light weight prevented his messenger bag from digging into his shoulder. The iPad Air features a new A7 processor for faster web browsing, and the device offers two antennas to grab Wi-Fi. This boosts Wi-Fi performance in areas where Wi-Fi might be slow. The iPad Air begins at $500.
Photo by nuklr.dave via Flickr
4. GoPayment – If you participate in sporting events, trade shows, craft fairs or markets, you know that credit card processing can mean the difference between a sale and a miss. The free mobile credit card processing tool from Intuit is perfect for taking credit card payments on the go. In addition to GoPayment, the company offers Intuit payroll and online payment services. Each of these makes accounting and finance management easier for small business owners.
Photo by David Berkowitz via Flickr
5. Kensington Absolute Power – Next time you travel, leave your cumbersome chargers at home and take along this device. Kensington Absolute Power keeps all of your devices charged with up to 100 watts of power. Plug the Kensington device into your power source, then connect your devices using the detachable adapters. Kensington Absolute Power can charge up to three devices at a time — including smartphones, e-readers and most laptops — and costs $119.99.
6. Swivl – The tiny, $199 Swivl device turns an iPhone into a personalized hands-free video camera. Attach an iPhone to the Swivl base, then place it anywhere. When you place the device marker on your body, the Swivl will automatically follow you as you move and will use a wireless microphone to amplify your voice for the recording. Use a remote control to start and stop the recording at any time. Use Swivl for teaching, presenting or training employees. With the second generation of Swivl devices forthcoming in early 2014, this is one to watch.
Photo by ErinKhoo via Flickr
About Author: Dawn Schmidt Dawn writes about how technology is changing the face of business.