Can Artificial Intelligence Improve Your Skiing?

Jon Roubik | | Gear ReviewGear Review
Powder Skiing
The kind of data we’d all like to collect. Image: Facebook/Carv

You may already be using one of many apps currently in existence to track and record data surrounding skiing performance or achievement. However, a new app claims to not only track data concerning your skiing performance, but to actually provide coaching based on the data collected through the use of artificial intelligence.

Skier uses app on smartphone
Skier performance measuring apps are becoming more and more common. Image: Facebook/Carv

The system is comprised of a thin, custom insole which includes 48 pressure sensors as well as an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnetometer (compass) capable of recognizing motion and orientation of your skis through three axes of rotation. A¬†tracker worn on the outside of your boot recognizes thousands of data points created through your foot’s interaction with the insole and converts the collected information into usable feedback in real time.

Footbed
Hardware – sensor equipped insole and tracker. Image: Facebook/Carv

Other apps simply feed information in the form of raw data (altitude, distance, speed, etc.) through your phone. This information is then only accessible through review on your smartphone, likely on the lift between runs, and only as good as your personal analysis of that information. Carv’s tracker, however, identifies your body’s motion through the pressure applied to the insole sensors and provides real-time verbal feedback to your headphones. The sensors under each foot can tell if your weight is forward, back, or transitioning pressure correctly in relation to the direction and arc of your skis. Specific tones may indicate positive reinforcement of good technique. Otherwise verbal commands may advise corrective actions for improper technique such as reminding you to lean forward if recognized to be skiing backseat.

Data is collected against 35 metrics including speed, acceleration, decent, edge-to-edge time, max edge angle, roll, arc and more. This may be a lot of information for some, but valuable for those who are really interested in nailing down fine details of their and their equipment’s performance. The software also includes a number of preprogrammed lessons you can advance through and challenges that keep the product interesting after the initial use.

Metrics, measures
Data metrics collected by Carv for real-time feedback. Image: Facebook/Carv

British duo Pruthvikar Reddy and Jamie Grant launched the project on Kickstarter in 2016 before significantly exceeding their funding goals. The system which is currently out for purchase costs between $230-$280 depending if you pre-order between batches. Considering the amount of information that becomes available at your finger-tips, Carv is effectively inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of private ski lessons at most resorts. Pre-order is available now for the next batch due for release on Dec. 1, 2018.


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