Travel Tech Q&A: Netgear's Brad Little

Netgear's ANZ managing director Brad Little talks about never leaving home without a credit card and wi-fi-enabled light bulbs.

In this week's ZDNet Travel Tech Q&A, Netgear's ANZ managing director Brad Little talks about the standard apps that keep him organised, wishing for standard wi-fi accounts, and how wi-fi interacts with lighting.

Netgear's Brad Little. Image: Netgear

What tech do you travel with and why?

As I'm constantly on the road, I prefer to travel lightly and limit my technology to only a few items. All I need is my iPhone 4S and MacBook Pro, as well as a decent pair of headphones. I access all my files remotely from both of these devices, creating the ultimate mobile office.

What tech do you miss from home?

Because I can access all my personal content like movies, music files, and photos remotely using a NAS device when I'm travelling, I mainly miss the comforts of working at a proper desk. Being without my large monitor and mouse seem like small things, but I miss them when I'm away from home.

What tech do you love abroad, where and why?

The ability to easily access free wi-fi in airports, hotels, cafes, and other venues. We are getting there in Australia, but we aren't yet meeting the standards set by a lot of other regions when it comes to free wi-fi accessibility.

What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?

It's not especially groundbreaking, but nothing beats the standard calendar app for keeping me organised and managing my appointments while travelling. I'd be completely lost without it. Also, FaceTime is my best friend when I'm away from the kids.

How do you deal with jet lag?

In situations where it is absolutely crucial for me to avoid jet lag, I try to live in the time zone of the destination for a day or two before leaving. It may sound over-zealous, but sometimes you can't afford to take the risk, especially when travelling for business. Of course, it's also extremely important to resist the urge to sleep during the day once you land.

Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?

Aside from checking that I have my passport, the credit card is the next most important thing. My thinking is that in the worst-case scenario, at least if I have my card, I can buy anything else that I may have forgotten.

What is the best airport you've visited and why?

I can't help but say Sydney's Kingsford Smith airport. The business lounges are nice, but most importantly, it just feels like home.

What was your last tech purchase?

I recently bought two LIFX wi-fi light bulbs that let me control the lighting in my home via an app. They are extremely cool. Next on my wish list is a solar phone charger with a suction cup, so that I can charge my phone from anywhere. You can even use it on a flight.

What tech do you expect in hotels when you are travelling?

I'm not terribly demanding when it comes to the technology offered in hotels, but I do expect a strong wi-fi connection in my room. 

What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?

Having wi-fi on planes is a great start, but it would be a huge help if there was a standard, universal wi-fi account that was accepted across all airlines.

Favourite site to use while travelling?

I always use OpenTable for local restaurant reviews and bookings when travelling. I like to try something new each time I visit a city, so this provides me with a great starting point.

Name one thing you wish your iPod/phone/laptop could do that it doesn't do now?

It's a simple thing, but I wish I could simultaneously use dual time zones in the calendar app on my iPhone and iPad.

Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?

The British Airways lounge in the new Terminal 5 in Heathrow, London. The facilities are amazing, so at least I'd be comfortable there.