The “quantified” movement has hit the slopes with technology to measure every turn and tuck.
AlpineReplay, a Southern California company makes Trace, an app to track ski performance and a sensor that sticks to a ski or snowboard and can identify and record airborne tricks. The data which the Trace app collects can then be examined and shared, offering a quantifiable measurement of improvement.
Vail Resorts, which owns 11 resorts, has poured resources into developing its EpicMix app, the centerpiece of the company’s digital offerings. The app, which rolled out five seasons ago and has been upgraded every year since. It uses a radio-frequency identification chip that recognizes each skiers’ exact location, and tracks how much distance and vertical feet they cover, and which lifts they take on a Vail-owned mountain. EpicMix has hundreds of thousands of users each year, according to the company.
In 2010 the snowEdge app was released, which tracks speed, airtime and distance, but goes beyond that to measure the acceleration of turns, and rates them with a score of 0 to 1,000. The faster the acceleration, the stronger and sharper the turn, and the higher the score.
Garmin Fenix2 is a multisport watch that tracks speed, distance, vertical drop, and has an automatic run counter, GPS radio, compass and altimeter.
The Snow2 ski goggles by Recon Instruments deliver — in real-time — speed, vertical descent, altitude and airtime to a skier’s sight line. The Vancouver-based tech company makes software that is installed in some Oakley, Zeal and Smith brand goggles, with the Snow2 selling for about $650, or three to five times a regular pair of performance goggles.
Squaw Valley is launching the ski industry’s first Google Glass app, which will allow Glass wearers initially to access real-time information about lift and trail openings, with more features added later, a representative said.
A 2013 survey by Pew Internet Research found that 19 percent of smartphone owners use apps to track their health, with more than a third accessing fitness and workout-related apps, and the market for wearable technology is an estimated $330 million.