You love your digital camera, but can you find a fresh SD card in Kathmandu? Your GSM â€world phoneâ€ is great, but do you know it won´t work in Korea? And why bother locking your luggage if the security folks at LAX are likely to clip it anyway? The answers to such wandering quandaries lie, of course, in technology. From stitchless surf trunks to truly interactive digital guidebooks, we´ve wrangled six innovations to help you squeeze the most out of your summer vacation.
We used to think of GSM handsets as world phones. But they don´t work in areas that rely on CDMA networks, like Korea and parts of South America and Africa. This model roams on both networks, which makes it a first. Price not set; samsungusa.com
Samsonite Travel Sentry Lock
You can´t stop the Feds from rifling through your checked bags, but now you can prevent others from doing so with the lock on the Portside suitcase (shown). Set your combination, and Transportation Security Administration screeners can get in with coded keys. $240; samsonite.com
Bushnell Pocket ImageView
Don´t underestimate the sneakiness of these 7x digital binoculars: They´re the smallest in their class (3.13 by 4.5 by 1.5 inches), and clever, with a built-in 0.35MP digital camera. Take snaps of some skittish creature and e-mail them to your friends. Stores 150 images. $110; bushnell.com
Sony Photo Vault
When you max out your digital camera´s memory, you can transfer the images via USB or Memory Stick to 200MB mini CD-Rs with this 8-ounce burner/player. Connects to a TV for slideshows. $200; sony.com
Rip Curl CODE: STL
Instead of stitching the seams of its new board shorts, Rip Curl laser-cuts the fabric to prevent fraying and then glues the edges together under high heat and pressure. No thread, no rash. $55; ripcurl.com
Ifodor´s Travel Guide
Download these electronic city guides to your PDA, tap your location on a map, and the software generates walking directions to shops, hotels, sights, clubs and restaurants (which you can search by price and cuisine). It´s the first such digital guide to merge comprehensive guidebook information with Mapquest-like usefulness. $20 for each of 10 cities, including London, New York and Rome. fodors.com
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.