Airbags can protect you in the event of a car crash so why not use one for skiing? POC teamed up with French wearables company In&motion to launch a new airbag technology develop specifically for ski cross and Alpine racers. The POC Spine VPD 2.0 Airbag Vest is meant to reduce the number of serious injuries resulting from high speed crashes during training session and races.
The airbag system consists of integrated sensors and uses a precise algorithm to distinguish between a crash or fall from the normal forces associated with Alpine racing. In order to detect a loss of balance, the system keeps track of a rider’s movement by performing 1000 analysis per second. When a fall is detected, the airbag is inflated in less than 100 milliseconds to provide protection for the neck, chest, spine, abdomen and hips (sadly not the knees).
Approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS), the POC Spine VPD 2.0 Airbag Vest system is integrated within a light vest that is easily wearable under a ski racing suit. Wind tunnel testing has proven that the vest has no little to no effect on a skier’s aerodynamics.
The airbag system offers up to more than 4 times better absorption capacity compared to a standard back protector. Once inflated, the system is reusable simply by replacing the inflator.
The Spine VPD 2.0 Airbag Vest will be available soon for the upcoming winter race season. I wonder if POC will make one of these for bikes….