While most of us worry that tech is keeping us indoors too much (especially teenagers), new research suggests the very opposite may be true.
A survey of 1,001 British adults carried out by gadgets and technology e-tailer, LaptopsDirect.co.uk, found that 72% of UK adults say gadgets inspired them to explore the outdoors more than they would have normally this summer.
In fact, 40% of UK adults feel that tech enhances their outdoor experiences, while a third (33%) find gadgets connect them to the environment in a more immersive and memorable way.
Considering how popular user-generated wildlife content on social media is becoming, it is not surprising that wildlife trusts, parks and tourist boards have all been encouraging Brits to use the technology available to them to identify species, document nature and share wildlife information discovered during outdoor pursuits.
Smartphones and tablets unsurprisingly topped the list of the ten most popular types of technology Brits are using to enhance their outdoor experiences. These were closely followed by wildlife apps for these devices, which came in third place.
Drones and small hand-held action cameras (e.g. GoPros) completed the top five.
Says Mark Kelly, marketing manager at LaptopsDirect.co.uk:
“By now, we all know we would be much better off health and wellbeing-wise if we did spend more time in nature. While stepping away from desks, tablets or smartphones can be a day-to-day struggle, it’s encouraging that there’s tech out there that is inspiring us to get outdoors more.
“Tech all too easily gets blamed for today’s generation not unplugging and connecting to nature but as the research has found, there is no reason why tech and nature can’t work together harmoniously to benefit a person’s outdoor experiences. If it takes a virtual ‘hand’ in the form of a drone, small action camera or geo-caching game to engage in the real world then let’s embrace it and use it to become nature-smart.”
The top 10 most types of technology that are enhancing time spent outdoors:
- Wildlife apps (to record/identify species) on smartphones/tablets
- Handheld action cameras (e.g. GoPros)
- Night vision gadgets (includes cameras, camcorders and binoculars)
- V-R / A-R headsets and apps built for play outdoors
- Wildlife zoom camera lenses
- Thermal imaging cameras
- Metal detectors