Best Travel Technology Product Awards
Results of Reader Voting
Travel Insider readers are savvy people. They're
better educated than average, and consider themselves
technically proficient, early
adopters of new technologies and gadget lovers.
Having these well
informed readers vote for a product is strong praise
indeed for the winners of our 2005 awards.
Travel Insider readers tend to
be early adopters of new products which make life on the road
easier or more convenient, and just as quick to reject those
There were a lot of remarkably
innovative products and services to consider over the past year, so their
selections truly represent a sophisticated appreciation of
Our favorite products from
reviews during 2005 were presented to readers to vote on.
Readers could rate each of the offered products from 0 (meaning
'strongly dislike' to 4 (meaning 'strongly like') and could also
indicate if it was a product they knew nothing about or had not
Products were grouped in two
major categories - those that were primarily technology driven,
and everything else.
In each category readers
could also submit a 'write in' recommendation, and then, after
appraising all the individual nominees, were asked to choose an
Voting was held between 13 and
25 January 2006.
Interpreting the Votes
Almost 2400 votes were cast.
As in past years, some anomalies were spotted
in the results, which meant a simple automatic
tabulation of answers was unlikely to be accurate.
Some votes were internally
inconsistent. For example, on occasion, readers would
check the box that indicated they knew nothing about a product,
but would also then give the product a rating on the 0-4 scale.
You can't proceed to rate a product if you know nothing about
Other people would give a
very low rating (or none at all) to the product that they then
voted for as best in its category. This also clearly made
A few people would rate very
many products as 0. It strained credibility to believe
that these people had personal experience with all the different
products and hated them all, and we ended up deciding that these
people were giving a 0 rating instead of indicating they had no
A simpler matter to resolve
was the number of people that cast incomplete ballots.
This was only to be expected - few people would have personal
experience of the entire range of product candidates.
Overly enthusiastic voters?
Voting was much more honest
this year than last year, although one person chose to vote
eight times for his favorite products.
We also noticed some
'strategic' voting where people were clearly biasing their
answers in a manner unrelated to their probable perceptions of
It is encouraging that some
people value these awards so very highly. But these, ahem,
'inconsistencies' have not been included in the final vote
Reader voting clearly
established a winner for the two main categories. We then
allowed for some editorial input to decide which of the two
category winners should be given the grand prize as 'Best of the
Each award includes a link
to the original review with information on how to buy
And, lastly, some other
interesting results from the voting are also noted.
Grand Prize -
The Best of the Best
Best Technology Product
Solitude Active Noise Cancelling
The company making
these headphones - Plane Quiet - is now a three time winner
of this award.
When a product line
wins so convincingly and consistently, plainly it is high
quality and good value.
When awarding the 2004 Grand
Prize to the
Plane Quiet NC-6 noise cancelling headphones, we noted the
concurrent release of the new Solitude headphones and wondered
if they'd win a 2005 award.
Wonder no more. By a
convincing margin, the
noise cancelling headphones trounced all other contenders,
both in terms of reader satisfaction and reader favorite scores,
making it both your choice for the Best Technology Product and
deserving of the Grand Prize. It scored 3.19 for
satisfaction (out of a maximum of 4.0) and was the choice of 31%
of voters as best product.
David Dillinger, Executive
Vice President of Outside the Box (the company that designed and
distributes the Solitude headphones) said, 'We're very
appreciative of winning your Grand Prize award three years in a
row. I've nothing much more to add that I haven't said in
the last two years, and we'll continue to do our best to win
your reader's appreciation and business with quality products at
good value pricing'.
Runner Up (for Best Technology
Skype's VoIP service
won a few more votes and a very slightly higher satisfaction
Roboform's password manager software, earning it the Runner
Up position, although Roboform came so close to Skype's scoring
as to be almost an equal runner up winner.
Best Travel Product
Discount Airport Parking Service
These days, airport
parking costs can exceed the cost of your flights.
This web site
provides a good service and solution.
You can spend as much as $20
a day to park your car at the airport. While airfares have
stabilized and even decreased, parking rates have skyrocketed,
forcing many of us onto inconvenient airport shuttle services.
Sure, discount parking lots
still exist, but the problem is how to conveniently find one and
make a sensible value judgment about its location, hours of
operation, service standards, and rates.
This is where
AirportParkingReservations.com can help. They
conveniently display rates and even availability information for
a selection of parking lots at 88 US airports (and some Canadian
and UK locations too), making it quick and convenient for you to
choose a lot and book a reservation.
They also offer information
on stay and fly hotels, where buying a hotel room for a night
gets you lots of free parking included.
An attractive easy to use
website that truly saves people hassle and often money, too.
A deserved win.
Max Hartshorne, their VP of
Business Development said 'Airport Parking Reservations is proud
to have won this award, and we hope that travelers will continue
to remember: You've got your hotel, your airline tickets, now
reserve your airport parking and you're ready to go!
Runner Up (for Best Travel
Same as last year, a product
introduced to us by the knowledgeable folks at Magellan's came
in at second place, and was almost a tie for first place.
Come to think of it, we've yet to see any product on their
website we don't like!
This year the runner up (and
almost winner) is the
Emergency Radio. This unit scored very slightly higher
than the Discount Airport Parking on the satisfaction scale, but
received fewer votes for favorite.
The Strongest Love-Hate
Most products show a general
consensus of opinion, with people generally trending to giving
similar scores. But there is always a product or two which
rates highly in both the highest and lowest scores. This
year, like the first year, it is a cell phone, with a
surprisingly equal number of people scoring is 1, 2, 3 or 4,
with a slightly lower number scoring it as zero.
We feel this shows, again,
how some people struggle to come to grips with new technologies
while other people love the extra 'bells and whistles' that
devices such as
Motorola's V3 Razr phone offers.
Write In Voting
Readers could also submit
their own suggestions for other notable products in 2005.
The Palm Treo 650 was the
most frequently mentioned write-in product last year, and was a
prominently mentioned product this year too, but the most
frequently mentioned product, by a large mention, were various
models of Apple's iPod range of MP3 players.
Thanks also to the two
people who wrote in our website as the best item for 2005!
Our 2005 Best Travel
Technology Product Awards have been given to two outstanding
products which offer significant improvements to all people's
They all carry the
recommendations and endorsement of both ourselves and our
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27 Jan 2006, last update
19 Dec 2013
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