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Technology for Skiing Technique and Instruction - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Thread Starter 

@chemist, thank you so much for your detailed explanations and suggestions! Configurable warnings sound like a fantastic idea! I think it'll work very well for free skiing sessions.

 

You're certainly right about detecting the start and end points of a turn! We really have to wait until after the turn is completed before we can conclusively identify it, but we do have many motion sensors in each foot which may allow us to predict the apex from the angles of the skis and their acceleration! We'll definitely try to tune our feedback algorithms to make it as close to instant as possible (or configurable).

 

As for lateral pressure distribution, our current prototypes actually have 48 independent pressure sensors per foot so we can have fairly detailed information about both fore/aft and lateral pressure distributions!

post #32 of 46
Thread Starter 

@razie, our system will definitely feature a lesson plan and drills system that will be fully monitored with technology, and will make use of real-time feedback, scoring and achievements!

post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by motionmetrics View Post

 

As for lateral pressure distribution, our current prototypes actually have 48 independent pressure sensors per foot so we can have fairly detailed information about both fore/aft and lateral pressure distributions!

Given that, there's another very intriguing possible application for your device:

 

One of the biggest challenges facing racers, and skiers generally, is dialing in boot alignment.   It's currently more art than science, as evidenced by the fact that, even on the World Cup, with all their expertise, technicians struggle with getting boot alignment done correctly.    But proper boot alignment is critical for skiers, since skiing is all about balance, both laterally and fore-aft.   Boot alignment can be approximated in the shop, but the real test is assessing the skier on the snow.    I'm therefore wondering if it would be possible to use your device to optimize skier alignment.  

 

This could be quite tricky.  The first step would be to sample skiers who are generally considered to be in good alignment, and those who are not, and see if there are correlations between their state of alignment and their pressure distribution functions ("PDFs") (how their pressure distributions change with turn phase).  Of course, you might find that there is not one PDF associated with good alignment, but a few characteristic PDFs, say one for people with supinated feet, one for pronators, etc. (I'm just speculating here).  Anyways, the idea would be to use the PDFs to determine the direction in which to go for sole canting, binding delta, etc.  A professional bootfitter might also be able to use this to help build a proper orthotic.   The whole business is complicated, so it will take a lot of investigation to figure out to what extent your device can or can't assist in this.

 

And if we really want to venture into blue-sky territory :D,  maybe a few years from now you'll be able to make binding plates with motorized adjustable cant and delta.  Then, after dialing in all other aspects of alignment (cuff lateral and forward lean angles, bootboard zeppas, footbeds, etc.), the shop will send the skier out on a pair of skis outfitted with these, and your device will interact with the plates to run through a program designed to vary/optimize cant and delta as the skier skis.  The fitter will then download the results, confirm the PDF that gives the best alignment, and plane/lift the boots as needed. 


Edited by chemist - 11/10/15 at 1:25pm
post #34 of 46

Have you considered incorporating this with slant board training program? Bringing the usage possibilities indoors could be an effective marketing concept regarding expanded accessibility not only indoors but also into the off-season when a slant board is likely more often used. If it were to result in a typical customer using it twice as much, would result in higher sales. Where the indoor feedback would be more instantaneous, it may also may provide itself as a training tool in the use of the technology and and introductory unit of a fully featured training program.

post #35 of 46
Thread Starter 

@chemist, thank you for the suggestion! From my rudimentary understanding of boot alignment, a way to detect an unsuitable boot alignment is to watch for the rolling of the knee during a turn. We currently don't have sensors on the thigh to determine is this is happening, but there's a possibility that we could detect something from the boot orientation and pressure profile after collecting data from many many turns. If that works, it'll be glorious!

 

@Rich666, I haven't had any experience with slant boards, and I am not entirely sure what they are meant to do for skiers. Could you please elaborate? Thank you!

post #36 of 46

A slant board is used for edging and balance exercises and can be found online. The type of balance board below could be another option. I am sort of visualizing an aspect where the parameter of pressure indications on the heat map would be contained by actual balance requirements. While a possible idea, I'm not so sure that, after a more indepth consideration, there would be enough applicability or too much redundancy to be worth that effort.

 

Sorry, long boring edit addition below:

 

I find more interesting the business aspects of how expanded usage can be a boost to marketing and sales. Having a product that can take its user both indoors and out as well as on and off season would be a considerable amount of usage expansion and vertical as in not steering away from the primary purpose of the product.

 

I could imagine building a balance board that is designed for the use of ski boots (stiffer springs) that could also provide pressure readings from your sensors along with accelerometer readings from fore/aft/lateral platform inclination. The two sets of data could then be integrated to correspond as they do during skiing and displayed diagrammatically on a screen directly in front of user. Of the 5 basic ski fundamentals as I would see them (balance, pressure control, edging, rotary & angulation) I think that balance and pressure control are the most codependent and is why they should be trained together if at all possible.

 

 


Edited by Rich666 - 11/11/15 at 11:15am
post #37 of 46
Thread Starter 

@Rich666, that's an interesting thought, thanks for the suggestion! We haven't really thought about using our technology for off season training, but I imagine it'll be quite straightforward to include a section in the app that could work with different types of training methods. Our sensor footbeds can also be slipped into normal training shoes, which will be very useful for activities besides skiing. We'll definitely have to focus on delivering a robust and accurate real-time feedback system for actual skiing first though!

post #38 of 46
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, we've added a nice new demonstration of our technology! The video clip shows Filip Flisar making a wide turn and a few small jumps, the lower half of the screen showing his application of force relative to the line he chose. Let us know what you think!

 

post #39 of 46

Hi all, I asked the @motionmetrics team to write up an article about their experiences thus far which you can now read here. 

post #40 of 46
Thread Starter 
@tylrwnzl, thank you for the feature! We have fond memories of the company's development (e.g. the ridiculous first prototype) and it was great fun writing the article!
post #41 of 46

I'd be interested in beta testing this system should you start a beta program. 

post #42 of 46
Thread Starter 

@Nemesis67, thank you for your interest! We'll definitely be in touch once we've figured out how we can have a beta programme!

post #43 of 46
Thread Starter 

We made a short clip of the feedback we've received from our early alpha testers:

 

 

They address some questions we've seen in this thread, please let us know what you think!

 

Mod Edit: Embedded video

post #44 of 46
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!

It's been a long winter, but we are finally ready to launch our crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. It's going live on Wednesday at 12:00 GMT and you'll be able to pre-order units of Carv.

 

However, we wouldn't be here without all the feedback and comments you provided, so thank you! We will keep improving Carv as much as we can, so any feedback will always be welcome. 

 

Thanks! 


Edited by motionmetrics - 2/15/16 at 6:25am
post #45 of 46

Recently came across a discussion of CARV on another ski forum.  Turns out the Kickstarter in the spring was very, very successful.  Brought in over $200K for a campaign with a goal of $50K.  The price for pledges was a bit under $200 each.  Delivery is supposed to happen by Nov 2016, in time for the northern hemisphere ski season.

 

The next batch will be delivered to people who pre-order on a Indiegogo campaign.  Early bird prices are a few hundred dollars less than the expected retail prices.  This batch is supposed to be delivered in Jan 2017.

 

Apparently testing was done at Mammoth in early May.

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/333155164/carv-the-worlds-first-wearable-that-helps-you-ski/posts/1607580

 

"At the beginning of May we had the privilege of skiing for the US Ski Team’s coaches academy in Mammoth, California. Even though it was May, Mammoth is so high up that we were lucky enough to get a few inches of snow fall! We were in Mammoth to better our understanding of what coaches look for when teaching pupils, allowing us to relate these findings back to the data measured by Carv. We also used the trip to create additional features for the coaching system based on the feedback.Thanks again to the Ron Kipp, Michael Rogan, Greg Mountford, and the U.S.S.A. for all the feedback and advice."

 

The briefest introduction I've seen just came out in early June.  Includes the Kickstarter video, which has comments from professionals (not Americans) starting at 3:00.

 

http://flowily.com/carv-your-ultimate-real-time-digital-ski-coach/

 

post #46 of 46

I love new technology/nano, etc.all and especially where is crosses with adventure sports such as GPS positioning, motion sensors and video capabilities. I love this idea and really hope it flies even though I am not likely to be a consumer. While there are many new advantages to this technology, that does not necessarily speak to its ongoing sustainability in the minds of its designated market. The first set of consumers will be enthusiastic and provide a strong first round of sales. All the outdoor sports techno junkies will buy in the first round and things will look good at that point. But, this set of consumers is not the one that is going to take a product from market to GoPro so to speak. To access the real lions share of the market, you have to convince those not overly enthusiastic with preconceived notions of grandeur that this product will have sustainable value beyond the lust of new equipment and the benefits of initial feedback results. 

 

The first threat to these new devices starts with the attachment with the reference of "gadget". There are many "gadgets" out there that have features that amaze and carry prospects of grand schemes of reaching the next level in one's sport. However, we all know what the term "gadget" also means: "junk". The term "gadget" has become a reference for something that is useless. The media is blind as to the damage its use of this term can start. The next threat is what the first round of buyers do with the product after owning and using it for the first few seasons. Will it gain traction with coaching and teaching programs? Will it find its way into the marketing of ski boots? Will it be packed with performance retail ski packages? Or, will it end up in that box under your desk along with old broken GoPros, Iphones and motion sensor "mouse traps" and otherwise known as the burial ground for gadgets that we can't find ourselves throwing in the trash because it still "works". Once the next level consumer sees that, the fat lady starts warming up to belt out a sad song.

 

After watching all the videos on this product and hearing about the ease of use and understanding as well as all the good information it reveals, what I have yet to hear is how these features are brought to the fruition of final benefit. For example, what were the benefits of this information that go beyond what the our body is already able to sense through processing our own feelings and senses that we use in natural integration with conversation with our coaches and instructors? Or, is this product going to fly on the conception that coupled with online instruction, this product will save significant funds by replacing the expense of a live person on the hill?  

 

Should this happen, that's not to say that it wasn't a successful business venture in terms of making money and then moving on to the next step in one's career. However, I am sure this is not so much part of the plan and rather the prudence of a realistic exit strategy. For a good study on the gadget market, it may be helpful to look at the app market to look and see what were the "actual" factors of product market sustainability where there is much more data to study. The problem is not so much how to get the first round market to buy in but to get the first round market to show sustainability to the next level of consumers.


Edited by Rich666 - 6/28/16 at 9:36am
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