At long last we’ve made it to Summer. And, that means your customers are making time to get outside for family BBQs, movie nights, days at the beach, and evenings by the campfire. However, just because life is moving outdoors doesn’t mean that consumers are ready to leave their technology behind.
People want to be outside and they want their tech with them, just not necessarily as the focal point of their outdoor experience. So what are consumers looking for out of products they bring with them to the great outdoors?
Well, the “Outdoor Survey Report 2021” commissioned by Deloitte found that when it comes to outdoor tech durability is far and away the most sought-after quality by consumers. Makes sense, any product meant to live and operate outside must be able to withstand everything nature can throw at it, including torrential downpours, sub-zero temperatures, and the heat of the sun.
As a result, for our annual “Fun in the Sun” tech roundup, we put together a collection of devices that are subtle enough to enhance any outdoor experience without stealing the spotlight, and – more importantly – without breaking down.
David Pidgeon, president and CEO of Starpower put it nicely in a 2022 interview with Dealerscope when he said: “Entertaining outside is not just a trend. It’s not like buying a pair of plaid pants and hoping that two years from now, plaid is still ‘in.’ Cooking and hosting outdoors is something that will continue to be enjoyable.”
Meater Plus Thermometer
Back in the Summer of 2021, Traeger, which is known for its high-end grills, acquired wireless meat thermometer startup Meater. Quick tip of the hat to Traeger for that good business decision because we believe the Meater Plus thermometer is here to change the game when it comes to connected cooking.
This truly wireless smart meat thermometer gives you real-time data on the food you are cooking, while you are cooking it. Leave this heat-resistant device in your food while it’s on the grill or in the oven to remove the guesswork of constantly needing to check the meats. Users can monitor the internal temperature of their steak, ribs, or chicken via the MEATER Smart Meat Thermometer App, which utilizes the Advanced Estimator Algorithm to accurately determine when the meat has hit the user’s desired internal temperature.
Samsung Terrace TV
The original Samsung Terrace TV may have been released back in 2020 but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still one of the best TVs money can buy for an outdoor entertainment space. The TV, which is a sibling to the Samsung Frame, molds sleek sophistication with the requisite durability.
The Samsung Terrace comes in three sizes – 55 inches, 65 inches, and 75 inches – and has an IP55 weather-resistance rating against rain and dust, which should be more than satisfactory for most outdoor challenges. This 4K Smart TV features Samsung’s QLED technology and projects ultra-bright images at 2,000+ nit, allowing users to enjoy a high-quality viewing experience in shaded outdoor environments. The 65-inch and 75-inch models also come in a “Full Sun” version that the company claims allows users to watch TV even in direct sunlight.
Wyze Plug Outdoor
I love to work outside. And, whether it be constructing a kennel for my dog or locking in for a day of remote work on my laptop, the limiting factor behind how long I can stay outside is almost always the same: battery life. My yard features a lot of grass and far too few outlets to support my energy-guzzling devices or power tools. However, with the Wyze Plug Outdoor, that dynamic is set to change.
Coming in at just $11.99, the Wyze Plug Outdoor features two outlets and an IP64 weather-resistance rating against rain and dust. The device can be integrated into a connected ecosystem of Wyze products or controlled via Alexa and Google voice commands. The smart device also comes with an accompanying mobile app that allows users to monitor energy usage and put the dual outlets on a timer.
Sony SRS-XE300 Speaker
There are few products in the outdoor tech space that are put to the durability test more frequently than portable speakers. These devices, which are essential for any beach party or backwoods camping experience, have a tendency to get buried in the sand, covered in beer (by us clumsy few), and forgotten outside in the rain. As a result, portable speakers should be an essential focus for retailers during the Summer months.
Our pick of the proverbial portable speaker litter is the Sony SRS-XE300, which is both affordable and highly durable with an IP67 weather-resistance rating. The device syncs to your phone via Bluetooth and users can access the speaker’s party features via Sony’s ‘Fiestable’ app. With a battery life of up to 24 hours on a single charge, the Sony SRS-XE300 ticks all the boxes needed to be a set-and-forget device in your outdoor tech repertoire.
Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Multisport GPS Watch
Lastly, no “Fun in the Sun” tech roundup would be complete without a wearable device that helps facilitate adventure. Enter the Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar multisport GPS watch. This smartwatch, which retails for a not-so-meager $1,000, has all the bells and whistles needed to support even the most ardent through-hiker.
The Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar has an impressive 28-day battery life that increases to 37 days with solar charging. On top of the phenomenal battery life, the smartwatch is equipped with a series of sensors to monitor health and wellness metrics such as heart rate, sleep quality, and calories burned. Perhaps the niftiest feature on the device is the database of pre-loaded TopoActive maps to keep users on the trail while being far off the grid.