Ten times a week, most of us are plagued by a ritual of germs, noise, dead batteries and scalding hot coffee referred to as "commuting." Here are some futuristic technologies available right now that can help ease your daily suffering.
Silence the commuter clamor as you slip on your Bose QuietComfort noise-canceling headphones ($299). They feature a tiny microphone in the earpiece that picks up ambient sound and then creates a sound wave out of phase with that background noise to cancel it out, leaving you peacefully with your playlist.
Or stay alert to your audible surroundings while still enjoying your favorite podcast by wearing Aftershokz open ear bone-conduction headphones ($99). They deliver stereo sound via mini vibrations through your cheekbones straight to your inner ear.
Coffee, that lifeblood of working warriors, is brewed around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, but it isn't sippable until about 140 degrees. You can keep your commuting fuel at the optimum temperature with the Temperfect coffee mug ($35-$45). It brings searing hot brew to a drinkable temperature in two minutes using phase-change materials on the inside that absorb heat from the stainless steel outside. The insulation then slowly releases the heat back into the drink to keep the temperature perfect.
The bumps and jerks of public transportation don't have to mean a spilled drink -- if you wear a hydrophobic shirt that repels dirt and liquid. Threadsmiths’ ($45-55) self-cleaning nanotechnology minimizes the surface area for water to stick, causing it to bead up and roll off the fabric.
Public transportation isn't always a model of hygiene, but you can hold the subway bars without fear thanks to the Germinator Transit Jacket ($248). The removable sleeve cuffs, which have thumbholes, are made of silver-infused anti-microbial fabric that protects your hands, and an extra long collar shield helps hide your mouth when another passenger is coughing up a lung.
If you prefer a jacket that holds all your stuff, the SCOTTeVEST ($150-200) offers up to 42 hidden pockets specifically engineered not to bulge. It can secure everything from your smartphone and wallet to your keys, transit pass, tablet and even a water bottle. The collar features a wire passthrough for your headphone cable and pouches designed to keep earbuds from dangling or bouncing around while chasing after the bus.
And the modern commuter needs to be a portable power plant. Several bags, like the Surge II Charged Backpack ($229), now come fully equipped with built-in batteries to keep your devices charged while on the go. The Osprey Pixel Port ($120) has an iPad sleeve that allows you to use your tablet while it remains safely in your bag. For those carrying cords and chargers, the TLS Professional Slim Laptop Backpack ($109) has a crush-proof AC Adapter garage to keep them organized and safe.
Or you can charge your devices while you walk using AMPY ($95), the world’s smallest wearable motion charger. It literally transforms the kinetic energy from your movement between subway stations into battery power with a typical active user generating five hours of standby smartphone juice.
That'll leave you with enough battery power to get home, strip down to your underwear and relax until you do it all over again tomorrow!
Kevin is based in New York, where he makes Vsauce2 YouTube episodes that inspire and entertain by examining the everyday amazing … and the not-so-everyday amazing. From mind-blowing technology to the origins of the things around us, Vsauce2 is a hub for utmost awesomeness in human creation.