Mountain Guides of the Future: Meet your Digital Ski Instructor

AI goes altitude
(Tina Sjogren) Some weeks ago we attended the Intel Developer Conference in San Francisco. The event is huge and this year action sports dominated the top floor.


On an indoor track freestyle bike-riders performed stunts, their bios displayed in real time on big screen monitors.


Joining the maker movement, Intel last year issued a “Make it Wearable” global competition for innovative concepts incorporating their Edison-board, and one of the winners caught our eye.


The snow-cookie system is essentially your digital ski-instructor. A set of sensors (“cookies”) are fixed to your skis, taking notes of your skiing style. The data is streamed to your mobile phone, processed by algorithms, and spit back as “actionable guidance” to your earbuds while you plow away.


#Imagine the future


We imagine a future where snow reading lasers are coupled with the technology on Himalayan 8000ers.


The unique features of snow polished by jet winds, the hard turns, all coupled with mountain topo and route, could then be uploaded along with a quick voice debrief and video shot by a personal drone.


The lot could then be studied by other sky-skiers, experienced even in VR,  for even badder runs on the upper edges of the world. (Don’t forget the parachute.)


And why not fix cookies to the back of rock climbers’ hands, couple the data with a digital route guide, and stream back a cool voice leading you to the next grip (instead of your belay-buddy yelling at you from below). Could work where cracks are not too tight.


The maker movement is about building wild things. If you have a cool project for extreme environments we’d like to hear about it. If it incorporates the Edison, you should probably tell Intel, too.