Technology has made our world a far smaller place than it once was – and yet it has often been noted that despite the increasing ease of communication, we now live more insular lives than ever before. Indeed there is no longer even any need to venture out of the home to connect with new people or perhaps complete a fitness training session – our insatiable appetite for ever more advanced technological wonders has ensured we can do pretty much everything within a virtual step of the sofa.
It is refreshing then to see a public report highlighting just how significant new technology is in increasing participation in a huge variety of outdoor recreational activities.
Not only that, but it is helping people to share their experiences and ultimately to connect with a new community of like-minded enthusiasts.
In partnership with Future Foundation, the Sport and Recreation Alliance recently published its report, Innovation Generates Participation, exploring key trends that it believes are set to become increasingly important to all involved in the sport and recreation sector.
Within the five key trends noted, is the use of social media to broadcast views and experiences and interact with others with similar interests. This act of sharing and the sense of belonging to a community, is integral to the way in which people engaging in all manner of activities, use ViewRanger. Indeed it is in part what differentiates the app from those targeted at specific user groups such as cyclists or runners.
Today, ViewRanger is used by all manner of outdoor enthusiasts from walkers to horse-riders, back-country skiers, climbers, mountain-bikers and fell-runners. It has become an indispensible tool for a broad spectrum of active individuals that represents the wonderful diversity of popular recreational activities within reach of us all.
And that is the point, for while these activities have always existed, many have simply not known the opportunity was on their doorstep, or if they did, where to go and how to get started.
Unlike most sports apps, designed to be used by those well established in their chosen activity – ViewRanger set out to inspire, to guide and to help users access the information they need to stay safe and ultimately to allow them share what they have done, helping others to follow in their footsteps, driving participation.
In doing so, ViewRanger has brought together one of the largest communities of outdoor enthusiasts anywhere, and of course connected them with a wide and rapidly growing group of content publishing partners.
Perhaps it could be said that our technological journey has come full circle, innovation driving the development of technology that now offers a way back into active communities of like-minded people, bringing with it the sense of connection, of well-being and all the extensively documented health benefits that are derived from such social interaction as well as physical activity.
Of course, at some point, you’ll still need to get off the sofa and brave the elements…it’s technology after all, not magic.
You might also find this interested: