Winter sports and technology are mixing in unexpected yet exciting ways.
Technology has long had a presence in the world of outdoor sports, particularly in the lives of high-level athletes who approach physical training as a science. But more and more, the same technology that has helped Olympians to measure factors such as heart rate, speed on the mountain and VO2 max is becoming available to the average consumer.
Not only is technology bringing the aforementioned training features to the masses at an affordable price point, but the use cases for technology in outdoor sports gear are also being reimagined. The results are major advancements in recreational sports tech. Here are just a few examples of how winter sports and technology are mixing in unexpected yet exciting ways.
Rekkie Smart Snow Goggles
Equipped with a heads-up display, the Smart Snow Goggles from Rekkie allow users to find friends, toggle music, check phone notifications, and view stats all while barrelling down the mountain. The smart goggles connect to any iPhone or Android via a free companion app and utilize the phone’s GPS and cellular connection to provide real-time data on altitude, speed, and the location of friends.
The heads-up display on the Rekkie Smart Snow Goggles is controlled by a large rubber button located on the electronics enclosure on the side of the device. Designed for ease of use with gloves on, the goggles are also equipped with a 915MHz radio providing goggle-goggle connectivity of up to 2,000 feet in areas with little to no cellular coverage.
Nordica HF Elite Heat Ski Boots
There is nothing worse than cold, uncomfortable toes halfway through a day on the mountain. The HF Elite Heat ski boots from Nordica tackle the issue of chilly toes with a heated liner that can be controlled via a compatible mobile app. The 3D Cork Fit Primaloft HEAT liner is equipped with heating technology at the top of the boot, which transfers energy down to the rest of the foot through the responsive natural cork liner that covers the heel.
The boots also can be custom-tailored by the user for a perfect fit using the company’s unique Infrared Technology. Once pressure points are identified, users simply need to heat the area using the company’s infrared lamp and apply a suction cup to the area to neutralize pressure. The final step is to remove the cup and replace the liner: it’s time to jump into the boots and enjoy the ride.
Suunto 9 Baro
This unique wearable is an ideal companion for people who push the boundaries of off-grid adventures. Any outdoor adventurer knows that a few hours of battery life on a GPS watch can mean the difference between a leisurely jaunt off the mountain and having to pull out the old compass. In this capacity, the Suunto 9 Baro excels, featuring four battery modes – Performance, Endurance, Ultra, and Tour – that range from 25 to 175 hours of recording time with GPS Tracking.
Of course, the device’s performance is optimized when used in tandem with the Suunto app, downloadable on any iPhone or Android smartphone. The app tracks and logs GPS data from any hike or running route and helps users to track their long-term trends in activity and sleep. Finally, if you bike to work or love scoping out new running routes the Suunto app can help you calculate emissions saved via your commute and the type of terrain you are covering in an intuitive road surface map.