For those who haven’t done so before, the prospect of careening down a mountain while wearing skis isn’t exactly the most inviting idea. Eventually, given enough training, it can be less of a careening and more of a controlled, effortless glide. It just takes a lot of time to get to that point. What’s more, most of that time is spent in the dark about how effectively recommended techniques are being performed, prolonging meaningful improvement.
It’s obvious to see how much room there is to better both the process of learning to ski and, later, excelling at it. As the first wearable of its kind, the CARV is a connected ski device that acts as a digital coach. It’s made up of a less than one-millimeter thick smart insert and a clip-on tracker that work in any ski boot. Together they measure motion and pressure distribution to relay meaningful feedback through a user’s headphones in real-time.
CARV provides newbies the opportunity to run lessons or drills, offering simple, actionable tips on form and technique to improve instantly. For freestyle skiers, CARV monitors take-offs, landings, tricks, flips and pressure distribution to avoid unnecessary strain. Cross-country skiers will appreciate how CARV analyzes foot timing, symmetry, and weight distribution while ski racers and coaches will find the data and video synchronization tools to be extremely helpful in shaving seconds off each run.
The CARV iOS and Android app gathers and tracks all this data over time so that users can see how much they improve, going as far as analyzing turn angles. And the true data junkies out there, CARV can provide them with the raw data of their runs to be manipulated in a python or matlab console. Each CARV set of two smart soles and two trackers goes for $249 and is expected to ship in November 2016. Its Kickstarter campaign is looking for $50,000 by April 1st, 2016.
MotionMetrics, the company behind CARV, is in a really good place with their product. Outside of the connected Explore1 helmet, there aren’t very many high-tech goods in winter sport segment. CARV is a step in the right direction, incorporating very helpful tools in the service of real results and the potential of changing how people learn to ski.