Designer backpackers have always been the first on the cutting edge of technology, and they’re still making the most of the latest innovations in gear.
Now, it seems, they’re becoming more adept at blending the technology with the art.
The trend has been around for years, but now a new generation of designer backpackers are using wearable technology to augment their physical presence.
Here’s what you need know about how the trend is transforming the way we backpack.
You can’t walk alone at night.
Designer backpacker Evan Davis of Atlanta, Georgia, has been doing a lot of outdoor activities, like hiking, and says he uses the latest in tech to augment his own body and mood.
Davis, who is about 35 years old, is a former professional snowboarder, and he uses a Google Glass headset and a smart phone to record and share video from his adventures.
“The best part is that the audio is recorded on my phone, and it can be replayed if you want to do something else,” Davis says.
The app is designed to let you listen to what’s happening while you’re out in the world.
When I need to go somewhere I just say, ‘Hey Evan, I’ve got a video.’
And then I can walk away.
“Davis says he gets a sense of what’s going on by hearing his own footsteps, which are recorded in real-time.
It’s a way to get out and see something without having to go through a physical space,” Davis adds.
Your clothes can be made to look like a robot.
This is what designers like Michael Kostin of Chicago, Illinois, are looking for in their backpacks.
Kost, 34, has spent years designing, prototyping and producing designs for brands like Nike, Under Armour and Nike+.
He says he’s become adept at combining the design and tech of the world around him, so he started looking for ways to combine the two.
“When you see someone wearing a backpack or on a skateboard, they don’t have a lot to do with their real life,” Kost says.
“They’re just wearing a jacket, shoes, a backpack.
But when you see a designer wearing something that’s actually a backpack, you start to think that they’re in a very, very different world.”
When you see them wearing something on their computer, it’s not necessarily a backpack anymore.
Instead, the design is a computer.
Kondin says the tech can be integrated with what he calls the “breathtaking elegance” of a designer’s work, like a tailored suit or leather bag.
You’ll look cool wearing an Apple Watch.
“I want to look stylish in my Apple Watch,” says designer Amanda Wurzer, 35, of Toronto, Canada.
Wurler, who lives in Toronto, wears the Apple Watch every day.
She’s been wearing it for two years, and now says she loves it.
“People always ask me how I get through it,” she says.
She says the watch’s features have allowed her to be more creative with her outfits, like using it as a way of checking in with her dog or her boyfriend while walking.
“That’s where the Apple watch shines,” she adds.
Your computer will show you the real world in your backpacks, like in real life.
You don’t need a camera to get a sense for what’s around you.
In the past, designer backpacker Ben Leinonen, who runs a design firm called Rene and Michelle Leinnen in New York City, says he was always wary of wearing a computer in his backpacks because he felt it would detract from the quality of his designs.
“You could feel the design,” Leinensen says.
But now, he says, his computer is showing him a world he’s never seen before.
He’s been able to capture video from the top of buildings to show the real-world effects of his design, and in a recent project, he recorded a real-life encounter with a man wearing an iPod Touch and a backpack on his back.
The Apple Watch’s screen is better than the screen of your smartphone.
You might have heard of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and those phones are pretty good, but they don.
“We are so used to the phone screen and having a screen on the wrist that we’re not accustomed to this new technology that’s on the screen,” Leinerensen says, explaining how the Apple Watches screen feels so much better than other screens.
Leinningen says it also allows him to focus on what’s really important, like the real things he’s designing.
“If you’re working on something for a magazine, it doesn’t matter what the screen is,” he says.
Instead of having to adjust your screen position in order to focus, you can just turn the screen up and focus on the design