Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Go, Go, Gadget Boots!

All new Geomagnetic Route Boot
As the race to bring the latest wearable tech to the market gathers momentum, Berghaus and ViewRanger have come up with the very latest must have gadget for every tech savvy hiker – the “Geomagnetic Route Boot”.

The principle is very simple and environmentally sound.  Each “Route Boot” will be fitted with a geomagnetic chip which will communicate with a downloadable app in your smart phone.  All you need to do is plot your route into the ViewRanger app as you’ve always done and head for the fells.

The chip in the boot will follow the pre-programmed route by making use of the naturally occurring geomagnetism in the rocks.  Over the coming months you may spot a number of folks in the fells with kit looking a bit like the guy on the left.  What they’re doing is magnetising each route with its own unique geomagnetic signature by realigning all the magnetic minerals within the rocks.  (Note:  If you see them coming it’s best to give them a wide berth, especially if you have any magnetic items about your person – keys, artificial hips, metal fillings, under wired bras etc.)

The ViewRanger app already warns you if you’re going off track, but they are seizing this opportunity to upgrade their system to provide a loud claxon when you stray off the route (so you can hear it above the howling wind on the fell tops or in the middle of Ambleside on a busy bank holiday), this will be accompanied by a friendly message shouting to inform you that you have strayed from the path and need to return to your route.
New upgraded app!

The voice message will be available with a number of different options including Brian Blessed, Jeremy Clarkson and Holly from Red Dwarf (please note, the Jeremy Clarkson option is an age restricted product and may not get you back to your hotel until after they have finished serving food.)

A Berghaus spokesperson said “We are delighted to be at the forefront of wearable technology and, after what we are sure will be successful trials in the Lake District, we hope to be able to roll this product out in the Peak District, Scotland and North Wales - probably on the same date next year.”

A welcome sight on any hike!
Ever keen to support the many needs of the weary hiker, Jennings have kindly sponsored the geomagnetic route alignment work and added a few extra branches leading directly to their pubs.  At the end of a hike you can therefore be certain of a long cool pint of Cumberland Ale and, if you remember to programme your route back to your campsite before you head to the bar, the boots will help you find your way back again – you know, just in case it’s dark, or you were really, really thirsty or anything like that.

A ViewRanger spokesperson commented “We are particularly excited by this innovative addition to our already excellent geolocation capabilities.  We’d like to reassure our customers that in our commitment to providing the very highest levels of customer care, our dedicated band of staff have been up the fells in all weathers and the cries of “Gordon’s Alive!” echoing around the office are testament to how popular the Brian Blessed voice option is.”

As serious fell walker myself, keen to test all of the capabilities this new product has to offer, I have also trialled it on the fells, as well as on the many Jennings pubs in the area.  All the in the name of serious product research you understand...

The “Geomagnetic Route Boot” will be available to order online today with the app available via all the usual outlets.  A discount is available to those quoting the code APR01.