Thanks to the web, it’s easier than ever for travellers to explore the world. From booking cheap flights and finding meals to locating the best hotels to stay in, you can do pretty much anything online these days. But when you’re left without WiFi on the road or in a remote area, it can be quite the challenge to load maps or messages.
Lucky for you, Airbnb is looking to ease that particular travel pain through a piece of hardware called “Beam Device Architecture.” The company recently applied to patent the device, which could help to provide the basic travel necessities (like maps and messaging) to those outside the range of standard WiFi.
The patent application explains Airbnb’s rationale: “In many parts of the world, people have become accustomed to nearly constant data connectivity through [WiFi], cellular or other connections. Indeed, many consider connection to certain electronic services as essential. This is especially true when travelling away from home in an unfamiliar place.” Sound familiar? “However, there are many regions in which data connectivity is limited and/or prohibitively expensive… The present disclosure provides systems and methods to provide access to services that otherwise would require an internet connection.”
According to the patent, the device will work by storing information when the user does have access to the internet, which can then be viewed offline.
A photo of what appears to be the device has also been released, and by the looks of its size, it won’t be a problem to squirrel away in your carry-on.
Hopefully, this new gadget will hit the market soon, so keep your eyes open.