Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Our Tech Enhanced Trip from ND to Denver

Back in the "good old days" a 12 hour drive from Minot, ND to Denver, CO involved intermittent AM radio stations, some reading material (for the passengers), and conversation when the passenger(s) were awake.

How things have changed.

This past Thanksgiving my wife and I drove to Denver, but with some technology to enhance the trip.

Before leaving, we loaded our iPods with music and podcasts to listen to. We also added a few movies and books to our iPads.

As we left our house I turned on my Trackster, a GPS device that recorded our location every 30 seconds during the trip. Once we got back home I was able to download the data to a Google Map that showed the exact path we took and where we were every minute during the drive down and back. It showed exactly how long each stop for gas or food took.

We had satellite radio to listen to the entire trip. No dead spots along the way where there wasn't any radio reception.

We had our Garmin GPS along, but we didn't need that until we got near Denver. Instead we used GPS software (MotionX Drive) on our iPhones to track where we were, especially when we hit the spots in SD and Wyoming where it was 80 miles between gas stations.

Our Honda Pilot was able to tell us our gas milage, and expected range on the remaining gas.

As we pulled into Spearfish, SD we used the Around Me App to find a gas station and a place to get a latte.

My wife was able to keep in constant contact with our daughter in Minot and our son in Denver. When were didn't have good cell signal, texting still worked fairly well.

While we were in Denver we used our iPhones to take pictures and video of our granddaughter, son and daughter-in-law. I brought along a good DSLR camera so we could get some good photos, but our iPhones were always ready when there was a photo opportunity.

We were able to post pictures to Facebook and Google+ to share with family and friends. I was able to keep in contact with Twitter to find out what was happening in the tech world when we had down time back at our hotel at the end of the day.

Using my iPad we were able to connect to my computer back in Minot, ND which had a eyeTV tuner  and watch the local news

We were able to Face Time with our granddaughters back in Minot, and they could see their 9 month old cousin.

On our way back, the roads in the Black Hills area were bad, and our daughter and son-in-law were tracking us using Find My Friends on their iPhones.

Like I said, things have changed...

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