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Exploring the great outdoors with IoT

By Perle Systems
April 28, 2023

Many people might not think of technology when they picture spending time in nature, but we're utilizing our devices everywhere, including outside! Gadgets connected to each other and the internet — in a network known as the Internet of Things (IoT) — have revolutionized our approach to outdoor recreational activities. Here are just a few ways we're using digital tools in parks and the wilderness.

Fitness trackers

For quite a while now, people have been using smart wearables and watches to monitor their heart rate, caloric output, steps and minutes of activity while exercising. This application isn't confined to the four walls of a gym or fitness studio, though. Fitbits, Apple Watches and similar trackers are incredibly popular with runners, hikers, cyclists and other sportspeople.

Pet trackers

Cat and dog parents often enjoy taking their pets out for the day, whether it's to stroll along a beach or play in a park. But, there's always the concern that their furry friend might go missing when they're let off their lead! Fortunately, they can attach technology like the Apple Airtag to their loyal companion's collar, and the device's location (the pet's whereabouts) can be monitored via an app on a smart device, according to DeepSea Dev.

collar, pet, tag, wearable, iotGPS trackers on collars can prevent Fido from going missing.

Smart sports equipment

In a bygone era, you needed a coach to tell you how to improve your sports skills. Now, smart sensors attached to sporting apparatus like balls, bats and clubs can gather information about the player's performance and relay that data to an analytics app. Avid amateur athletes playing outdoors can track their progress and use their smart equipment anywhere for a much-needed element of portability.

Digital outdoor devices

In addition to tracking metrics like distance, many smart wearables also have GPS capabilities that can help the wearer navigate the great outdoors without fear of going off-course in a remote location. These devices can also collect data about changing weather, allowing people like hikers and off-road cyclists to change their route or destination as needed.

Birders and safari enthusiasts will be delighted to know that they can purchase smart binoculars. Per GQ magazine, these high-tech optical instruments can automatically adjust their lenses, alter lighting and stabilize images to provide an enhanced viewing experience.

Environmental conditions sensors

Some people are hesitant to spend time outdoors due to illnesses like asthma and allergies that can be triggered by pollen or smog. Fortunately, as Civic Life explains, park rangers and management teams can install air monitoring sensors that measure air quality and determine how suitable it is for sensitive visitors. Similarly, sensors that track water impurities can tell people whether it's safe to swim in or drink, which is particularly useful for hikers and campers spending lots of time in the wilderness.

Tech-driven safety measures

A major concern about going outdoors (particularly with small children) is safety. After all, parks and trails are open to everyone. Luckily, smart IoT tech can be used in applications like automatically switching on lights at sunset, alerting visitors when bad weather is predicted and facilitating emergency responses; all in the name of keeping people safe.

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