Smart technology in your insole can help with your skiing technique, says Sarah Moore
Digital ski coach” Carv, the world’s first “ski-wearable”, broke the record on crowdfunding site Kickstarter for the most money put towards wearable tech. Designed by a physicist and a software engineer, the device is made up of two insoles less than a millimetre thick that slip under the lining of your ski boots. Each insole contains 48 independent pressure sensors, and a small box that clips to the outside of your boot sends data to an app on your iPhone (an Android app is in development).
A total of 114 inputs measure your speed, acceleration, weight distribution and ski orientation a “mind-boggling” 25 times a second, with the app instantly converting all this information into “meaningful analysis” and a “Ski IQ score”, says Sean Newsom in The Sunday Times. But Carv “won’t just tell you how rubbish your turns were; it can educate and encourage too”, via drills and “upbeat and succinct” guidance communicated through headphones.
The tool is able to analyse technique, give pointers and highlight mistakes in real time, such as advising when you are leaning forward too much or transitioning weight too late in the turn, says Lee Bell on Wearable.com. All that may be hard to get used to if you’re a beginner, as you’ll already be concentrating on not dying while bombing down a mountain at breakneck speeds. But Carv doesn’t overload you with information, instead offering “short, relevant bites”. There’s also the option to “free ski” – then the technology just tracks your technique and then gives you feedback once you reach the bottom of the slope.
The biggest testament to Carv’s coaching abilities is that “I could see my skiing improving in only a few hours”, says Natalya Paul in Stuff magazine. It’s a “cracking accessory that I was sad to leave behind”.
Carv insoles can be bought at GetCarv.com: £249 for a single (two inserts and two trackers); £449 for four inserts and four trackers.