If we’re going to talk about technology in the outdoor world, let’s first talk about technology in the broader tech space itself. When Apple released the first iPhone back in 2007, it was a game-changing work of genius: a way to consolidate cell phone service, email connectivity, music library, search engine and GPS navigation into one supercomputing, pocket-sized device. Fast-forward a decade and Apple’s big debut is phasing out the standard headphone jack. What happened? Now you need an adapter to plug your headphones into the lightning port all to save on a fraction of a fraction of the thickness of the device. Meanwhile half the world is carrying around small iPads with doorknobs on the back of them, all in order to keep up with the latest advances. However, if your world isn’t always updated, connected and Bluetooth-compatible, you’re stuck keeping track of a slew of various adapters, unable to sync with the next-gen.
The point being, Apple seems out of game-changing ideas. We’ve reached a plateau of convenience where some advances seem only to service more consumption of the same. Fortunately, the outdoor world of 2020 is not world of Apple (at least not yet). We’re not seeing innovation just for innovation’s sake. We’re seeing the application of technology into gear that legitimately enhances our experiences on trails, waves, cliffs and slopes (and that reduces the impact of our consumption of the latest leaps forward). Here’s some of the gear we previewed at this winter’s Outdoor Retailer show, as well as few other notable additions, that will be changing the game today and tomorrow.
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