The Realski iPhone application by RTP acts as an interactive trail map for dozens of North American resorts. Users hold up a newer iPhone to see a video image of whatever a skier is viewing on the mountain, and tags of nearby trails, restaurants and restrooms digitally pop up on the screen.
Realski 2.0, available this season, also allows users take screen shots and geotag them.
So if you need to return to that powder stash, take a picture and geotag it, so that Realski can point the way back. Afraid of forgetting where the car is parked or how to get to the bar to meet up with buddies later? Take a picture and geotag it. Same with that glove that fell off during a ride on the lift.
Realski is free, but resort maps cost 99 cents apiece. Screen shots from Realski can be shared on Facebook or Twitter, but there’s no way to share functioning geotags yet.
RTP also is working with resorts on an application to let people get scanned at lift lines by using their phones, similar to using a boarding pass on a smart phone at the airport. A virtual lift ticket appears on the phone, but tapping on a space at the bottom might bring up weather reports or the ability to add more days on a lift ticket.
Skiers would have to take their phones out of their pockets to get a virtual lift ticket scanned. That could change though. Some resorts have RFID tags on their real-world tickets so customers can be scanned through a person’s coat, and in Europe, Swatch watches with RFID tags let wearers ride the lifts at participating resorts. It’s a matter of time before smart phones add RFID too.