The joy of tech: 5 summer activities to avoid the crowds
Great technology at home isn’t just about making life faster or more efficient. If you want to avoid the crowds this summer, there are plenty of online resources that capture the imagination, from VR tours to cooking classes. Check out our top 5 tips to keep you and your housemates entertained, whatever their age.
The past few months of lockdowns and restrictions have seen many of us appreciate the simpler things in life. As we’ve adapted to new routines, we’ve also grasped new online tools to help us with our revised home-based habits. The Houseparty app came and went, Zoom is now the world’s online platform for office meetings and Sunday night quizzes, and Slack – well, it’s still just as distracting.
While we may be using technology now more than ever, it isn’t just about making life faster, smoother and more efficient. Often forgotten is how it can incorporate play, delight and discovery. My personal favorite right now is howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com – simple, informative, and satisfies my inner astronaut.
With summer round the corner, here are some examples of great tech, which offer experiences or activities that you can do with friends, family or the kids if you’re steering clear of the crowds this summer.
Become a VR tourist
According to the recent ConsumerLab report, 10 hot consumer trends, more than 40 percent of consumers would like to go on a digital adventure holiday that engages all their senses, and immerses them fully into the different places they might visit. While sipping virtual cocktails at the beach may not seem convincing just yet, there are some great online visits you can take to some global landmarks.
Google has created a ‘Hike a World Wonder’ for the Grand Canyon, where you can follow the Bright Angel trail through a 360-degree Street View. They’ve also got a whole catalogue of treks for the explorers among you.
If you’re longing for cooler climates on the other hand, why not try a dog sled through the Northern Lights? Lights over Lapland has some great VR videos from Abisko, located at the very top of Sweden. Or how about Iceland? National Geographic has kicked off a 360-tour series, the first of which, ‘Into Water: Iceland’ follows geographer and glaciologist Dr. M Jackson as she travels through the country’s extreme landscapes and glaciers, many of which are melting at a drastic rate.
No allen keys needed: IKEA's den designs
Remember the days of building dens with a big blanket and a couple of chairs when you were a kid? Well, now IKEA’s iconic flat pack instructions have been adapted for kids to construct ‘furniture forts’ at home.
From a ‘cåmpingtent’ to a ‘förtress’, the company’s simple guidelines will no doubt be a massive hit for kids looking for things to do on a rainy day. Although the instructions mention specific pieces of IKEA furniture, every day home furniture can also be used. And with a book in tow, who knows how long the adults could get some peace and quiet for?
Get up close to the masterpieces: Rijksmuseum from home
Digitalization is a challenge many industries are facing today, including the culture industries. Several museums, for example, are leading the way, including the Hermitage in Russia, where Ericsson demoed the opportunities that 5G could bring to museums when it comes to restoration, the protection of permanent collections and visitor engagement.
Another museum paving the way is the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which recently launched ‘Rijksmuseum from home’. Along with in-depth videos and thousands of digital photographs of artworks, it has also created an online tour of the museum’s renowned ‘Masterpeices’ gallery for digital visitors, who can listen to stories behind 18 of these works, including Vermeer’s ‘Milkmaid’, and Rembrandt’s ’The Nightwatch’, arguably the star of the show. The museum also recently published the most detailed digital photograph yet of this huge 3 x 4 meter painting, so that visitors can get a hyper-resolution look at Rembrandt’s individual brush strokes.
Get the kids excited about science
The words ‘home schooling’ have sent chills down the backs of many a parent since springtime. If you’re keen to get your kids curious about how things work, you may want to get them involved in Dyson’s thoughtfully designed 44 science and engineering challenges for kids. This really is the fun science teacher you always wanted. The challenges offer kids the chance to learn about liquid densities, expanding gases and electromagnetics, all using simple household objects. Think potato-powered clocks and spaghetti bridges.
Time to take up that bucket list hobby
Staying at home these past few months has allowed us to see how important it is to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues. It’s also helped some of us learn new crafts and skills (with sourdough bread becoming the unassuming winner of the kitchen under lockdown).
Whether you want to bake, cook or pick up that instrument that’s been gathering dust, Airbnb has created Online Experience, where visitors can sign up to ’live, interactive video sessions led by expert hosts.’ There are an untold number of cooking lessons available for groups of up to 10 people. Take guitar lessons or create a batch of cannoli with a Sicilian chef. From magic tricks to meditation, if looking for somewhere to learn new skills, it’ll be here.
Read our blog post on why the future of work is increasingly remote.
Here are our top 10 tips for working from home.
Learn about how to promote a sustainable lifestyle.