Hugh Morris, The Daily Telegraph, October 08, 2014
Squaw Valley, a ski resort in California, has announced it is the first in the world to launch a ski and snowboard app for Google Glass.
The supposed eyewear of the future, which has been described as like wearing a computer on your face, is still trying to find its niche amid consumer concerns about its price tag (£1,000) and purpose (not sure). But perhaps the slopes are the answer.
A spokeperson from the North Lake Tahoe resort said the Squaw Valley app, which was designed by Lumiplan, a tech company based in the French Alps, will allow Glass wearers to view which pistes are open and which lifts are operating without having to check signs. As of yet there is no further information on the app, which will be ready for the approaching season, other than that “additional capabilities are planned”.
Ski goggles with a display and built-in wifi, GPS and bluetooth already exist in the form of Oakley's Airwave 1.5, a snip at £520, but if you believe the hype, Google Glass, which presumably is to be worn inside a pair of goggles (or Googles as Google should definitely trademark them), is going to open up the ski world to a whole lot more pointless technological opportunities. Let's venture what some of them should be...
Flat light vision
Thanks to some sort of infrared night vision, whiteouts will no longer be like skiing blind into a colourless abyss as you'll be privy to all the contours of the mountain hidden from fellow slope users by wall to wall white.
'Man on' app
Taking inspiration from the football shout of “Man on!” used to inform an unaware teammate when an opposition player is hurtling towards them, this feature will handily warn you when reckless skiers or riders are on a collision course with your person. Better to save yourself because they ain't going to stop.
We've all been there – your friends stop halfway down a slope to aimlessly point somewhere in the far distance: “Look! Chamois!” Only, unless you have bionic eyes all you're going to see is what look like slowly moving rocks. But not with this app: “Oh yes, that one winked at me,” you'll say smugly.
Food and drink finder
The ability to locate the nearest and best lunch spots and then post-slope beers. A function to then carefully direct you back to your chalet might also be useful.
There's only so much you can do on the mountain to avoid paying £13 for a pit-stop pint, but an on-screen currency converter – perhaps activated by scanning the menu or the unsympathetic tone of a waiter – should save you from being embarrassingly fleeced.
Some sort of all-round body check blood monitor app to tell you things like: “You've had one too many Aperol spritzes – sit the next play out”, “You think the moguls are going ok? Nope, you're about to have a coronary,” or “Too much cheese. Cease all activity.”
On a serious note, this would be a must-have for off piste explorers. Crevasses and weak ice bridges hidden among the powder can be deadly.
Kids' ski school alarm
It would be a bit like a less exciting, more domestic episode of 24. An on-screen display that informs you how far you have to travel, and how long it will take, to arrive in time to pick up your kids up from ski school, complete with dramatic ticking digital countdown and tense Jack Bauer soundtrack.
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This article was written by Hugh Morris from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.