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#187638 - 11/10/14 06:53 AM Wearable Technology for the great outdoors!
jakegoff8 Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/10/14
Posts: 1
Hi Guys,

I'm a product designer conduction research into wearable technology for the outdoor market.

Recently, we've seen an increase in products like the Nike fuelband, the Fitbit and Google glass hitting our markets but so far, there is nothing revolutionary that would aid us as hikers, scramblers or just casual walkers.

This is something I want to change and so, I ask for your help.

Are there any constant frustrations that you have with your outdoor activities that could be assisted with the use of technology?

What problems for you face when you head off on an excursion?

What improvements would you like to see in the outdoor clothing market?



Any comments you may have might be incredibly useful to me.

Thanks very much for your time,

Jacob.

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#187646 - 11/10/14 12:45 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: jakegoff8]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
For me, the less technology (and batteries!) used on the trail, the better. I go out there to get away from that stuff!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#187647 - 11/10/14 01:03 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: jakegoff8]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
The biggest improvement I would like to see in the outdoor clothing market is for companies to resist the compulsive urge to redesign and update their products every year, even if it degrades or ruins the product. I understand the reasons why this happens, but the only purpose behind all this hyperactivity is a desire to increase profits and any benefit to the customer is purely incidental. As a result, we customers are very poorly served and I, for one, resent it.

Not that you could do anything to change this. frown

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#187663 - 11/10/14 11:46 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: jakegoff8]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
To me, "wearable technology" triggers terms like GoreTex, Polartec, and polypropylene.

I assume you're talking "high tech," i.e., electronics. I don't see great advantages there, for two main reasons:

1. If it takes power, then you've got to plan ahead and carry power to repower your tech when it runs out of power. Assuming it doesn't break first, or short out if it gets wet. Solar power isn't necessarily the answer to those of us who hike in the woods, or when it's raining.

2. If "tech" means connectivity (google Glass with maps or GPS, etc.), I'm usually going to be backpacking where there is no connectivity. (Yes, there are still such places.)

Sorry I couldn't offer more positive suggestions.

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#187667 - 11/11/14 06:51 AM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: Glenn Roberts]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
For sure, absolutely!

Like OM and others, I go to the woods to unplug from the borg.

I would LOVE a small, portable signal jammer with an active radius of about 100m to maintain that disconnect in my immediate environs. My tin foil hat doesn't work anymore.


Edited by DTape (11/11/14 06:51 AM)
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#187672 - 11/11/14 12:29 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: Glenn Roberts]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 628
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
2. If "tech" means connectivity (google Glass with maps or GPS, etc.), I'm usually going to be backpacking where there is no connectivity. (Yes, there are still such places.)


And, may I add that with current technology (at least as far as I know), the only reliable way to offer connectivity in the backcountry would be to add thousands of new mobile communications towers, obviously not a good solution for anyone involved (hard on the environment, eyesores, expensive, etc.).

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#187676 - 11/11/14 07:03 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
This article, actually a retrospective book review, "Preserving the Spirit of Wildness" by Paul Magnati, says it all!


Edited by OregonMouse (11/12/14 04:18 PM)
Edit Reason: correct typo!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#187682 - 11/12/14 10:55 AM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: OregonMouse]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
Ok. In general I agree with the replies here, but I do have on item on my wish list.

I currently take a small camera on my backpacking trips, which can last for more than a week. I turn off the display screen, and my camera lasts for the full week and more with a single battery.

I'd like to take along a GPS unit, because no matter how many maps I take, I always wish for one more. But GPS units don't have batteries that last a week or longer. At best, they last a few days.

So I'd like a single unit that would serve as both camera and GPS, and would have a battery that lasts at least a full week in the back country.

Oh--and I want it to weight less than a pound.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#187684 - 11/12/14 11:11 AM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: balzaccom]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 628
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By balzaccom
Ok. In general I agree with the replies here, but I do have on item on my wish list.

I currently take a small camera on my backpacking trips, which can last for more than a week. I turn off the display screen, and my camera lasts for the full week and more with a single battery.

I'd like to take along a GPS unit, because no matter how many maps I take, I always wish for one more. But GPS units don't have batteries that last a week or longer. At best, they last a few days.

So I'd like a single unit that would serve as both camera and GPS, and would have a battery that lasts at least a full week in the back country.

Oh--and I want it to weight less than a pound.


Perhaps a GPS unit with an e-paper display updated twice a second or so? That would lower the current draw of the screen, but the receiver would still be power hungry.

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#187687 - 11/12/14 01:58 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: jakegoff8]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
As opposed to yet another piece of electronics so I'll stress convergence of the existing ones. GPS actually handles most everything now (route planning and navigation, location, direction, elevation, time, etc.) but "wearable" GPS watches are huge and have limited displays and battery life, while handhelds get in the way, especially for those of us using trekking poles. So I wear a watch, too.

Since I can't divine a purpose for Fitbit I can't extrapolate it to backpacking, which by default is done outside of cell range, rendering most smart phone-linked devices moot. (Or is that mute?)

There's satellite communications, such as provided by SPOT, InReach and sat phones. Provide that minus the pound or more of dedicated gear and we're onto something.

Someone might want a wrist camera, but not I. I suppose one could siamese a Fitbit and a GoPro into a convergence device, but again its appeal to backpacking might be limited. We lack the downhill thrills, except for falling. Worst YouTube video ever.
_________________________
--Rick

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#187688 - 11/12/14 02:02 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: Rick_D]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By Rick_D
Worst YouTube video ever.



LOL. I remember watching a GoPro video of a trailrunner's adventure in the Rockies. It mainly consisted of the woman's view of her feet as she ran on the trail. So bad it was funny.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#187690 - 11/12/14 05:32 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: jakegoff8]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I suppose a Dick Tracy style wrist worn flexible LED display satellite smartphone would be cool. cool

Elon Musk said the other day he wants to make and launch the satellites. wink
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#187691 - 11/12/14 05:45 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: balzaccom]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
How about a google glass type device that has gps, night vision, and can act as a PLB/SPOT. A laser would be cool as well. No internet connection.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#187692 - 11/12/14 05:53 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: jakegoff8]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah

Are there any constant frustrations that you have with your outdoor activities that could be assisted with the use of technology? No frustrations at all. All technology does is make it easier to do things (like see in the dark 'flashlight', find your location 'gps', take pictures 'camera'). The only improvements that we want is to decrease size/weight/cost of those basic functions.

What problems for you face when you head off on an excursion?
Finding water, filtering water, staying dry, staying warm, locating destination, getting a good nights rest, cooking/eating food.

What improvements would you like to see in the outdoor clothing market?
lighter/cheaper (cost)/more robust/warmer/dryer




Edited by finallyME (11/12/14 05:53 PM)
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#187693 - 11/12/14 08:54 PM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: Rick_D]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
I'd like toilet paper with the holes pre-drilled to save weight.
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#187695 - 11/13/14 12:10 AM Re: Wearable Technology for the great outdoors! [Re: Gershon]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By Gershon
I'd like toilet paper with the holes pre-drilled to save weight.


Thanks for the laugh.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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