Trends 2022: what’s next for your favorite outdoor technology?


The main issue in the outdoor tech world this year has not only been the excitement of the products themselves, but maintaining sufficient stock in the supply chain, as well as ensuring have all the components in the right place at the right time. to build the devices in the first place. Even the world’s largest e-trader often displayed the message “stock expected soon”.

While the confident push for innovation may have temporarily slowed down, it hasn’t completely stopped, and products have come out of the pipeline and continue to do so.

So, the state of the world being that of flow, we focus on three specific kinds of devices. Whether you’re interested in developing the best action camera, drone, or telescope over the next few years, we pull out our crystal ball and ask: what’s next for outdoor technology?

Action cameras: better sensors

As a way to capture bold, harsh escapades that would leave ordinary cameras or smartphones crying digital tears, consumer-priced helmet-mounted or handlebar-mounted action cameras have been around for a long time. And they’ve gotten more and more compact, with ever higher resolutions and crammed feature sets, to the point where it seems doubtful they can be improved even further.

So today we have the essentials of 4K video up to 60 fps, built-in multi-axis image stabilization, shock protection, waterproofing, time-lapse and slow-motion video functions, HDR photography, voice-activated recording and more. For those who engage in daring activities that require keeping your hands free, voice activation seems like a worthwhile feature that will continue in the future as a more convenient feature than a remote or a remote control. touchscreen, while still having battery life and with it the ability to shoot more images or record more videos is still something manufacturers are working on and looking to expand.

GoPro HERO 10 Black on blue background

(Image credit: GoPro)

High-quality sensors that can provide even more detail without requiring a physically larger housing are obviously another area of ​​continued development – the size, shape and weight of the device is also of critical importance for cameras. action, as well as compatibility with various types of common cameras. brackets and handles on the market. At the moment, however, we think the GoPro HERO10 Black is the best action camera you can buy right now. Find out why in our GoPro HERO 10 Black review.

The good news here is that the majority of drones today don’t require their pilot to constantly manipulate their controller, or have a master’s degree in physics. They pretty much fly on their own, return to their take-off point if necessary, and can lock on and follow subjects autonomously, without further pilot intervention, while detecting and avoiding objects in their path.

Like most digital cameras and phones these days, drones today can capture 4K resolution video at 30 or even 60 frames per second, while the 1-inch sensors in the case of the Sony chip common and DJI AIR 2S (read more about this in our DJI Air 2S review), correspond to dedicated cameras and camcorders.

DJI Air 2S test

(Image credit: DJI)

Images from today’s drones can be streamed directly to a smartphone, while the smartphone can be paired and used as a controller if desired. Drones themselves have also gotten smaller and lighter, and at the same time more feature-rich, as technology has improved.

Since we already have palm-sized drones and devices that fold up into more compact configurations for easier transport when not in use, we might not want them to become much smaller in the near future, but it’s a safe bet that image quality and capture rate will continue to improve, while multi-axis gimbals will deliver increasingly smoother images, despite the Smaller and smaller form factors into which drone sensors and targets are integrated.

In the future, more drones will also be able to not only film but also self-edit in-camera video footage for us, which will save us precious time when all we want to do is share. instantly the fruits of the labor of our online drone.

Telescopes: smart scopes controlled by the app

Today’s telescopes were designed to help us find celestial bodies faster and more accurately than ever before, by being able to automatically track constellations of interest and work in tandem with the latest smartphone apps. as well as on-board Wi-Fi to make sure there are always stars in our eyes.

Of course, the distance and depth of space that we can see depends not only on the technology at our disposal, but also on the size of the scope itself and our available budget when purchasing. Expect remotes for higher-end models to become a thing of the past, as wireless connectivity becomes more reliable than it already is, and smartphone apps are updated more regularly.

Unistellar eVscope 2

(Image credit: Unistellar)

What could be simpler than holding our linked smart device up to the night sky, tapping the screen and zooming our telescope up close to the area, while our device’s screen displays star information and planets at a visible distance? Sounds like smart stuff, right? Truly high-end telescopes, such as the super-smart Unistellar Evscope Equinox (see our Unistellar eVscope eQuinox smart telescope review for all the glorious details) have pushed the boundaries and removed the once essential function of an integrated eyepiece, reasoning that the user’s smartphone or tablet, combined with intelligent image processing, will take its place.

In short, as long as we’re willing to shell out the cash, expect telescopes to become easier to use and more reliable in terms of accuracy, right off the bat.


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