Yeah sure, skiing looks fun if you’re into the whole ‘risking catastrophic injury in sub-zero temperatures’ deal, but AI powered ‘smart ski’ technology is something we can all agree sounds cool.
Now, that video isn’t the story, but it is an insanely good fun and very cool 360 video of a ski run using some of ski-wear brand Rossignol’s – one of the companies behind the project – currently available gear, so very much worth your time.
The company has come to wider attention by teaming up with PIQ the creators of the PIQ Robot, which they claim is “a powerful nano-computer that analyzes thousands of datapoints in real-time. PIQ ROBOT™ then displays in real time all the exact performances of your game, such as speed, strength, or precision.”
The PIQ Robot is pretty big news by itself, having won the best wearable award at the 2017 edition of ISPO Munich, an international sporting goods convention, so it’s no surprise that the collaboration is getting some airtime in the wider tech community.
The Rossignol Hero Master, which sounds a little like a military rank a teenager might invent for himself, is looking to build on the existing partnership between the companies, and involves a PIQ Robot attached to boots in order to gather data that can then be analysed by the user at a later date using the dedicated app.
The Hero Master aims to improve on the usability by building the technology into the skis themselves, and displaying them through an LED screen which provides real time readouts of speed, turning circumference and other such things that might be of interest to you as you hurtle down a frozen mountain attached to two thin strips of wood.
The interest here is in how the tech functions, powered by PIQ’s development of GAIA, “the world’s first ever autonomous software that understands sports motions”.
GAIA – referred to on the official site as a ‘she’ for all you pronoun fans out there, and which fans of Captain Planet would have already guessed – was apparently initially ‘taught’ by the engineers to recognise the subtleties of human movement before reaching the stage where she could learn by herself.
Unfortunately for us, but understandably for them, PIQ aren’t overly forthcoming with details of their top-secret AI invention and the Hero Master is still in the prototype stage, so for now we’ll have to use a little imagination as to how it might work.
Doesn’t stop it being one of the coolest things we’re heard about all week though.