Seven new applied sciences which can be remodeling recreation in 2022

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The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the sports and leisure sectors as it has forced everyone to spend long periods indoors. Some activities have moved online to help people stay active or entertained during lockdown. In contrast, others have had to limit the number of participants and ask them to wear masks and follow social distancing rules.

As the industry recovers from the pandemic and people begin to participate in sports and leisure activities again, new technical innovations have emerged to meet their needs. Below, learn about seven new technologies that will transform sport and leisure this year.

1. Wearables

Modern wearable technology products in sports and leisure can collect real-time health and performance data. Think Apple Watches, Fitbits, and Garmin fitness trackers—these and other wearables have grown in popularity among consumers in recent years. Wearables can provide the following types of user data, including but not limited to:

  • Average heart rate
  • GPS information (Global Positioning System).
  • Training minutes, steps taken, standing times and walking/biking distances
  • Active and total calories
  • Motion Analysis
  • swim laps
  • running or walking pace
  • flights increased
  • sweat and moisture
  • sleep and mindfulness
  • oxygen measurements

Wearables are very useful whether someone is a professional athlete or lives a sedentary, moderately active or very active lifestyle. When users gain access to these specific insights, they often expand their awareness of their overall health, fitness, and well-being.

2. High-tech home fitness equipment

When COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic, thousands of health and fitness facilities, exercise studios and local gyms had to close temporarily or permanently. According to The Global Health and Fitness Association (IHRSA), around 25% of all health and fitness clubs and 30% of exercise studios have closed as of January 1, 2022.

Consumers have adapted by exercising at home in guest rooms, basements, living rooms or bedrooms and incorporating smart home fitness equipment into their routines. For example, The Mirror is a high-tech, sleek, stylish mirror designed for home fitness junkies. They can check their training progress, track real-time data and even work with real trainers in live sessions.

3. Smart parks

National, state, and local parks are staples in the recreation industry, allowing people of all ages and physical abilities to enjoy different equipment, fields, plazas, or pools. In some regions, traditional parks receive major technical upgrades and become smart parks.

A project is underway at the University of Maryland that could transform recreation parks in Prince George’s County, Maryland. A team led by Nirupam Roy, an assistant professor of computer science with expertise in mobile computing and wireless networks, received a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to add Wi-Fi infrastructure to parks. The project offers several potential benefits, and other parks across the country could follow suit.

4. Outdoor gaming apps

Do you remember the year 2016 when Pokémon Go became very popular among smartphone users? The mobile-based app uses augmented reality (AR) and a mobile device’s GPS, allowing players to locate, catch, and train different species of Pokémon, the virtual creatures everyone knows and loves.

Other geocaches and treasure hunt game apps are emerging that allow players to explore the outside world while still using their devices. Young people are now experiencing how the digital and physical worlds collide through these games.

Modern wearable technology products in sports and leisure can collect real-time health and performance data.

5. Electric vehicles and equipment

Another advanced high-tech change in recreational equipment is the use of electric motors. For example, electric go-karts are becoming increasingly popular and are improving the traditional racing experience. Go-karts with electric motors are emission-free and therefore more environmentally friendly than go-karts with petrol engines.

Other products with electric motors used in sports and recreation include snowmobiles, personal watercraft, zero-emission boats and ATVs. Polaris, a well-known strength sports brand, is developing battery-powered products with an electric motorcycle manufacturer.

6. Adaptive Recreational Technologies and Equipment

Recreation includes hiking, reading, dancing, cooking, gaming and more. Any activity that someone does to have fun, pass the time, or spend time with friends and family is considered recreation.

However, some leisure activities can be challenging for people with disabilities. Whether someone uses a wheelchair or has an emotional disability, everyone deserves a chance to enjoy themselves and participate in recreational activities. For example, a person can use adaptive handcycles, snowboards, skis, kayaks, and so on.

In addition, beep baseball is growing in popularity. As the name suggests, Beep Baseball is suitable for people who are partially or legally blind or who have visual impairments. The baseball features beeping electronics so players can rely on their hearing. Sighted volunteers may participate in beep baseball but must wear a blindfold.

7. Online Reservations

Finally, the municipalities’ outdoor facilities benefit from innovative digital technologies such as online booking systems. Leisure departments can better manage the number of people using spaces in their facilities through the use of this technology.

Anyone wishing to reserve a specific pitch or outdoor recreation area can now do so online. Ultimately, these sites minimize face-to-face contact, improve user experience (UX), and free up recreation managers to do other, more important tasks. According to the website recreation.gov, users can book reservations for camping, tours, picnics or visits at over 4,200 facilities and 113,000 locations across the country.

Sports and leisure technology is booming despite the pandemic

The sports and leisure market has changed significantly in recent years. Consumers are constantly looking for new hobbies and outdoor activities to enjoy alone or with friends and family.

Thankfully, technology came to the rescue and allowed people to enjoy fun activities. In the future, more sports and leisure technologies will emerge and create positive experiences for everyone involved.

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