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Explore the great outdoors with these latest high-tech gadgets

20:37 28/07/2019
A snapshot of the latest gadgets to pimp your outdoor exploits

Polar Vantage M

A few months ago, Finnish sports and fi tness tech brand Polar introduced its Polar Vantage M smartwatch as a multisport watch that delivers functions developed for serious athletes on a consumer’s budget.

Its best-in-class heart rate sensor measures the thumping of your heart in your wrist while compensating for body movement by means of an extra electrical sensor that measures the quality of contact the actual sensor makes with your wrist.

Also inside is a GPS tracker and a battery that can handle more than 30 hours of continuous training, crammed into a sturdy, lightweight, waterproof design. Its colour display shows customisable functions for more than 130 sports, and the data it captures not only offers insights into personal performance and workload but also has an eye on recovery management.

GoPro Hero 7 Black

Many traditional camera manufacturers have tried their hands at making their own action cam, but none of them (with the possible exception of Sony) have even come close to delivering the sturdiness and the ease of use of a GoPro.

The latest addition to the American brand’s product line is the GoPro Hero 7 Black, a device that keeps out water and dust through its IP68-protected case, and can handle a brisk shock. Underneath that hard-as-nails exterior sits a camera capable of filming 4K-resolution video at 60 frames a second, and three microphones that capture your elated yells while you make your mountain-biking or rafting jumps.

When you dial the video resolution down a bit – to 2.7K or simple HD – the filming speed can even go up to 240 frames a second. The GoPro Hero 7 Black has also made waves with its HyperSmooth video stabilisation technology, which eliminates shocks while filming your heroic feats.

Yuneec Mantis Q

If you choose the great outdoors for something remotely resembling sports and want to capture yourself in action, you’ll want a drone with you. A foldable one of course, like the Mantis Q by Chinese manufacturer Yuneec; when folded, it measures only 6.6x3.8x2.2 inches, so it fits neatly in your backpack.

It tracks your performance from above, with 33 minutes of flight on a fully charged battery, and follows you at speeds of 44mph. The camera shoots photos and videos in 4K resolution (4160x3120 pixels), and carries out its tasks independently by means of ‘cinematic’ flight modes such as Journey, Point of Interest and Orbit Me.

You can command the drone with your phone or a dedicated remote, but it also obeys voice commands. Ask it to take off, take a picture, record a video or return home, and it will do just that. You can even smile at it from afar, and it will take a selfie from up to 13 feet away.

This article first appeared in The Bulletin summer 2019

Written by Ronald Meeus