You can add skis to the growing list of “smart” devices designed to track our movement in the outdoors. At the recent ISPO sports show in Munich, Rossignol announced that it has partnered with PIQ Sport Intelligence to create a “connected ski” that is not only capable of measuring a wide variety of variables, but displaying the data in real time while on the slopes.
PIQ is a French tech start-up that has designed an innovative artificial intelligence system that has been built specifically for use in tracking data as an athlete takes part in their sport of choice. The system, which is called the Group of Artificial Intelligence Applications or GAIA for short, is adaptable to a wide variety of outdoor activities and is programmed to run on PIQ’s Robot nano-computer. When creating the new smart ski, PIQ embedded the system into Rossignol’s popular Hero Master skis, giving them a set of features that no other ski can currently match.
While on the hill, GAIA is capable of tracking not only the speed at which the skier is moving, but also the number and angle of his or her turns, duration of their runs, and the G-forces being felt as they scream down the mountain too. The system can even measure the length of jumps, amount of air time, and much more. That data can then be stored and analyzed to help skiers understand their own performance and improve their skills over time.
But what sets this new smart ski apart is that a skier can also view certain data in real time, even as they are actually bombing down the hill. Rossignol and PIQ have added an LED screen to the skis themselves, installing it just in front of the bindings. That placement allows users to simply glance down to get a quick update on their performance, which is much more convenient than checking a smartwatch while on the move for instance.
The smart ski that was on display at ISPO was just a prototype, but Rossignol and PIQ hope to have it in production before the start of the next ski season. Price and availability have yet to be determined. To find out more about this project, and what the GAIA system brings to the table, click here.