German company Moticon has developed a new system called SkiGo that acts as your personal ski coach while you ride down the mountain. This brand new company, which only finalized their product in October, was just announced as this year's winner of the ISPO Brand New Award for Hardware Accessories.
Moticon was founded in June 2009 as a spinoff from the University of Munich's Faculty of Sports Sciences. The three founders, Maximillian Mueller, Robert Vilzmann, and Florian Zierer, all keen sportsmen since childhood, brought their various expertise together in order to design products with the goal of helping people move, improve and enjoy.
The SkiGo is a sensor based training system, the world's first digital real time ski coach that can help you improve your technique. The system consists of a pair of sensor insoles for your ski boots and a lightweight terminal device with headphones that sits around your neck. The sensor insoles are flexible and thin, much like normal insoles, and can be used in any type of footwear.
Your movement and position on the skis are recorded in realtime through pressure on the sensors incorporated in your ski boot insoles. The data is then wirelessly transmitted to the terminal around your neck and analyzed with the aid of pattern recognition software for motion analysis. The terminal device then gives you real time audio feedback through your headphones, helping you to improve your technique.
You can pre-set exercises and targets for each of your runs and your movement data will be analyzed accordingly. The SkiGo system compares the data with the target data of the exercises and gives you direct instructions while skiing to improve your technique. If, for example, you are skiing too far in a supine position during turns, you will hear audio instructions to lean forward.
"We are overjoyed that the SkiGo has been received so well by the ISPO Brand New Award jury. This is hopefully a good indicator of how the market will react to our innovative product," said Maximillian Mueller, Managing Director of Moticon.
The SkiGo will first be trialled this winter ski season in Europe and then become widely available the following year. It is designed for use in both ski schools as well as for self taught learning. So if you are headed over to the Alps to ski this winter, be on the lookout for the SkiGo digital ski coach in the ski rental shops.