There are wearables for running, cycling, weightlifting, tennis, swimming and all other kinds of sports. But did you know you can buy high-tech gear designed specifically for skiing and snowboarding?
Beanies and boots at the ready, the skiing season is just around the corner. As you make your preparations to head off to the slopes, check out our list of gadgets that have the potential to improve your overall powder experience. This includes everything from smart ski goggles to GPS enabled helmets.
To our delight, Garmin announced not one, but three new watches in its Fenix line this year. This is the ultimate multi-sport watch that packs bumped up specs into a slightly slimmer body. The different models vary in size to fit every wrist and every workout. The watch features everything you would ever want for fitness training and is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
You can use it for cycling, open water swimming, cross country skiing, climbing, indoor run/bike/swim, hiking and much more. The Ski/Board mode puts speed, distance, vertical drop and an automatic run counter (with auto-pause for the lift line), and more at your fingertips. Outdoor navigation includes things like 3-axis compass, altimeter and barometer and TracBack feature.
This featherweight wearable from Rossignol and PIQ straps to your boot to monitor your runs, ski jumps and turns. The accompanying smartphone app provides unique insights by seamlessly processing thousands of datapoints per second.
At the tap of a button, you get a detailed dashboard and graphical view of your progress on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, along with your personal bests. The technology monitors your carve angle, transition time, G-Force, jump height, rotation and air time to give you a complete overview of your run.
PIQ has also given us a peak into something they are referring to as the world’s first smart ski. The main novelty is that all these stats are viewable on the ski’s built-in LED display. This essentially gives the user immediate, actionable feedback which they can use to improve their technique – as long as the skier remembers to watch where he or she is going! For now, however, the smart skis are only in prototype stage.
Recon Snow2 is a high-tec display for alpine goggles. The gadget sports onboard processing power, a suite of sensors (GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, altimeter, and barometer), and networking capabilities that would put some tablets and smartphones to shame.
Snow2 snaps into any Recon-Ready goggle frame to give you real-time information on every run, jump and turn. That data is delivered to Snow2’s innovative prism display, just below your right eye for instant access.
The precision GPS capabilities and 600+ pre-loaded resort maps, pin-point your location to within a meter. The altimeter shadows you to the summit, while the gyroscope and accelerometer drive you to the base. You can also track your friends’ positions anywhere on the resort.
Finally, there is functionality to control your music library and see your texts/incoming calls during your runs, with smartphone connectivity for both Android and iPhone.
These smart goggles feature a built-in heads up display that delivers crisp, widescreen graphics using innovative prism technology. Your perception will be of 14-inch screen at a distance of 5 feet away from you.
GPS integration and other on-board sensors give you real-time access to speed, vertical drop, distance, and altitude data. After your run, review your performance with stats such as max speed, total vert and max air, in detail, run by run or for the whole day.
There are also some smart navigation features. You can pinpoint your location on a resort map, find the run or point-of-interest you’re looking for. Or see exactly where your friends are with the ‘buddy tracking’ function.
The Low Energy Bluetooth connectivity allows the goggles to interface with your smartphone, heart rate monitor and more. This also allows you to view incoming calls and text messages and control music as you ski or board.
This smart helmet is exclusively offered with Beats by Dr. Dre headphones built into the neck roll. The device is remote control compatible with most smart phones, so you can take calls, switch tunes and adjust volume right from the cord.
Of course, the helmet has some great safety features as well. There is an advanced ABS outer shell and a robust in-mold polycarbonate/EPS liner. The patented VDSAP system with two overlapping shells protects from sharp objects, while providing ventilation that can be closed if it gets too chilly on the slopes.
Snowboarding’s growth rose sharply in the 1990s and early 2000s, before plateauing in the mid-2000s. There has been a marked drop in participation in the sport since then, with increasing numbers of boarders returning to traditional skiing. Nevertheless, quite a few enthusiasts hit the slopes every year. Now they can do it while sporting some high tech gadgets.
SNOW-1 smart snowboard bindings record, visualize and analyze a snowboarder’s ride in real-time. The load balance sensors embedded into the soles record one of the most important factors in snowboarding, two flex sensors that are attached to the board are able to detect board deflection. The acceleration, angular velocity, geomagnetism sensors are able to detect the rider’s position and direction.
The app can also tap into the GPS function on your smart phone to map your riding route. The extensive log data will allow you to look back over your ride history and compare performance.
This is a simple but potentially life saving device.
The ICEdot Crash Sensor straps on to any standard helmet to detect life-threatening impacts and send an emergency message through your smartphone to someone who can get you medical help.
An alarm will sound on the phone, giving you a chance to stop the distress signal from going out if you’re ok. If you don’t stop the app, it sends an SMS text message to your pre-specified emergency contacts with your GPS coordinates.
Forcite is one of the leading companies in the development and integration of smart helmets. The Austrian outfit’s first wearable dedicated to skiing detects impacts and sends a GPS signal in case of emergency.
But there are many other features as well. An integrated 1080p camera records video, while a wind-resistant microphone records sound. If it gets foggy, you can switch on the built-in OLED lights to help keep you safe and enhance video footage.
The helmet will monitor your track speed, distance and altitude and will even allow you to take and receive phone calls with your phone safely tucked away. And if you get lonely on those runs, the built-in speakers can stream music directly from your mobile via Bluetooth.
A Kickstarter backed project, Card is a high tech device dedicated to skiing that provides audible real-time feedback through earphones and detailed analysis between runs.
The extremely thin smart insert, slides into any standard ski boot. It then analyzes every move you make to bring a new perspective on your technique.
In addition to tracking your runs, Carv looks at metrics related to your weight distribution, timing, the orientation and symmetry of your skis and more. This gives you access to statistics such as your maximum edge angle, enabling you to really drill into your technique.
Using these metrics and your headphones, Carv then communicates in real-time useful analysis and tips to help you improve. Pick a lesson appropriate to your level of skiing and Carv will give you pointers and highlight mistakes you are making.
The wearable was successfully funded at the start of 2016. The the delight of their backers – the wait will soon be over. Shipping is scheduled to begin in November, and the company estimates that the packages will start arriving in December.
Trace is a little gadget that tracks and stores your snow (or surf) sessions. Just mount the device near one of your bindings, and you are set to go.
Trace helps by tracking and analyzing your runs. With a combination of a 9-axis IMU and GPS, it shows stats on total airtime, max jump height, vertical distance, max speed, calories burned, max slope angle and ride time. Furthermore, you can see the approach speed you need to clear a kicker, how far you’re jumping, and how jumps compare from resort to resort.
The other aspect to the little device is its GoPro video integration. Trace will auto-edit all of your GoPro footage without you having to lift a finger. Just sync your camera before you start filming, and when you get back, upload the raw footage to your PC or Mac. In minutes, all your footage will be organized into individual clips of just your runs — with color correction, stats overlay, and easily shareable.
If your idea of fun is considered terrifying by normal folk, you might find use for this airbag.
The smart vest molds to your body and protects you by stiffening when force is applied to it. The wearable uses sensors and an algorithm to detect a crash, and than inflates in 100 milliseconds to protect the neck, chest, spine, abdomen and hips.
The vest differs from other body armor with its visco-elastic polymer-dough (VPD) plate that conforms to the wearer’s back. The plate uses high-density VPD down the center of the spine, as to protect the point most susceptible to injury. POC claims the bag offers up to more than four times better absorption than a standard back protector.
The system is approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for skiing, but you are free to use it even if you are not a professional.
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