What’s created in the United States, designed in Germany and produced in China?
Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right?
But fortunately, the laugh line on this one is no joke at all. It’s the Skyroam Solis global smart-data WiFi device, custom-made for a travel junkie like me who has a line of purses dangling from coat hooks – each filled with a different country’s currency, pocket-sized subway maps, hotel info, earplugs, and embassy contact numbers.
Sure, there are phone apps for all those things these days (including noise-canceling apps that don’t require stuffing little spongy bits into your ear canal, which inevitably roll into the airplane aisles right when that giant cart appears). But what if you can’t get affordable, secure WiFi access to those apps when you need them the most?
Whether I’m traveling in foreign countries outside my data plan or needing to securely access the internet in domestic locations, my sleek new roaming buddy is the Skyroam Solis, a colorful little cutie that fits in the C-curve between my arched thumb and middle finger. I secretly call him Luke, my own little sky-roaming Skywalker. And guess what: he doesn’t come with excess baggage –imagine that.
The Skyroam has a self-sufficient embedded 6200 mAh power bank that lets me connect up to five devices at a time, and it stays pumped up and ready-to-go with 16-plus hours of WiFi battery life. There’s no lugging around power cords, configuring new sim cards, or swigging bad coffee to get access codes for insecure public WiFi in crowded cafes.
No more. “Luke” connects me sim-card-free to the best local WiFi networks in more than 130 countries worldwide, using 4G LTE mobile WiFi speeds. Back at home, on ferry commutes to my tiny little island off the coast of Seattle, I can stream videos of our 40-ton gray “Sounder” whales feeding on ghost shrimp in the Puget Sound before continuing their journey to Alaska. If there’s WiFi anywhere, even on the high seas, Skyroam is going to find it.
It’s not just for access either; I can actually charge my phone, tablet, laptop or other USB-powered device using the Skyroam Solis. If only I’d had him in my pocket when the communication tower of a crowded airport in India sizzled out just before boarding a plane during an early evening lightning storm. As twilight became midnight and the storm raged on, those of us stretched out on the floor of the concourse began slowly losing phone power.
With only two power outlets for hundreds of people, the vast majority of us weary travelers were left to our own non-tech mental devices when loudspeakers suddenly announced that the airport was closing for security reasons. The only hope for finding one of the last remaining hotel rooms in the city was to do a mad dash through internet search engines – but alas, all cell phones, including mine, were dead as a doornail by then.
I was briefly hailed as a hero after crawling under a sink in the ladies’ room and prying open a metal box to unplug the electric hand-drying machines, thereby freeing up two more power outlets. But if I’d had my sleek little Skyroam Solis buddy that night, I would have stayed charged up all along using only a USB cord, thereby facilitating early hotel-room searches for everyone in the terminal. Win-win, or as they say in Hindi, phaayade ka sauda.