The Cookie That Will Make You a Better Skier
#technology & innovation
small, The Cookie That Will Make You a Better Skier, Snowcookie, photo: promotional materials, snowcookie-4.jpg
This winter skiing may become a whole new experience. That’s because the exciting new wearable for skiers named Snowcookie is set to premiere during this season. Not only will this Polish-designed device provide skiers with loads of interesting data about their descents, but will also teach how to perfect one’s skiing technique.
Plugging technology into recreational sport has become a big thing in recent years, amongst others due to the rise of mobile devices and wearables. Runners have their heart rate-monitoring smartwatches, swimmers have their waterproof MP3 players, cyclists can attach smartphones with the right app to their handlebars to get a dashboard and so forth. Now a hot startup team from Poland is getting ready to enter the wearables market with a device meant for those who like to go skiing. Charmingly called Snowcookie, this cookie sized and shaped wearable will not only provide skiers with loads of interesting data about their descents, but also will teach how to perfect one’s skiing technique. Thanks to an interface giving real-time information intended for the betterment of the skier’s on-slope performance it has the potential to turn the winter sport in question into a whole new experience.
Network of Distributed Devices
So how does Snowcookie work? First of all, you need not one, but two Snowcookies. One of these light but robust objects needs to be attached to the front part of each of your skis. You’ll also require a smartphone with a dedicated app. The two cookies and the phone connect wirelessly to create what the gadget’s creators say may be “the first wearable devices concept which relies on a network of distributed devices”. Snowcookie packs a microcomputer and an array of sensors which measure such things as speed, altitude or the load on the skis. A similar set of sensors can be found in IOS smartphones – one of such mobile devices, kept near the skier’s torso, will be needed to make use of the gadget. The dedicated app will combine the skiing data from the two cookies and from the phone, to inform the skier about various things.
One of the coolest features of Snowcookie is real-time coaching. The app will actually inform you what you should do to improve your skiing technique while you’re making your descent. For instance if you’re leaning back too much it’ll tell you to alter your position. Then again if you’re skiing through powder snow, when a slight backward lean is advisable, the gadget will take this into account in its suggestions – it’ll know about the snow conditions thanks to its sensors. The Snowcookie can give voice information to the skier through an audio interface, or signalize certain things by lighting up in different colours. It kind of acts like a virtual trainer that accompanies you during your descent. Because of this Snowcookie can have a huge impact on how people will perfect their skiing technique in the future and therefore reshape the face of this sport.
Take a Break
Another great feature of the device is caring for health. One of the gadget’s creators is Marcin Kawalski, a Polish doctor with substantial experience in orthopaedics, who came to the conclusion that the use of an appropriate technological device could prevent many skiing injuries. Apparently, almost 40% of such contusions result from overexertion. Snowcookie is designed to help its owner avoid them, by monitoring muscle fatigue and suggesting, when it reaches a dangerous level, that the skier should take a break. How does the gadget exactly know how tired you are? Over the course of a few days of usage it learns your skiing dynamics and based on this it can tell from a certain point whether your moves are that of an overtly fatigued individual. The time-to-take-a-break capacity appears to be rather trustworthy as it was carefully prepared by Snowcookie’s creators, who are pretty smart guys. Kawalski, apart from being a doctor has also collaborated with NASA and the European Space Agency. The two other creators, both Polish, are Zbigniew Nawrat, a theoretical physicist and the builder of the first European robot for cardiac surgery and Piotr Łukasik, an expert on virtual reality and designer of interactive objects.
Recommend Ski Trails
The Snowcookie also creates detailed reports on skiing sessions which contain information about, for instance, average velocity and covered distance. Anonymous data collected by Snowcookies belonging to various skiers will be used to create a system applicable to thousands of skiing resorts across the entire globe. This system will recommend ski trails befitting the level of a given skier. Snowcookie will most probably also have the capacity to connect with display goggles for alpine sports. All in all it seems like one scrumptious cookie. The device is supposed to premiere this winter.
Author: Marek Kępa