by Zuriñe Dopacio González

December 12, 2014

Winter is coming…

Winter season, Christmas time, cold days, dress like an onion, snow.

Finally it’s the time of the year for skiing, snowboarding or sledding! There are quite a few new winter sports wearables out there just in time for the snowy season.

Snowcookie is not a real cookie and not even edible. It is a project from a Polish team which wants to help you to improve your skiing skills. The wearable device utilizes an Intel Edison to crunch the massive data that skiers generate. Snowcookie connects skiers to a network of distributed devices that can improve skiing performance. The result is a better, safer, and more connected skier. Snowcookie was also one of the finalists of the Make it Wearable Challenge by Intel.

Oakley, the sports equipment manufacturer, launched their Oakley’s Future Sport Project where technology and sport collide. Our friends from Wearable Experiments (We:eX) and snowboarder Scotty James collaborated with Oakley to explore how wearable technology could give Scotty more air and ‘shatter the confines of snowboarding’. The initial concept consists of building a turbine structure through the back of a customized snowboarding jacket. The turbines will use the wind force and trajectory from a half-pipe jump to accelerate the rider and increase the amount of time and distance in the air. Controlled using 9-axis motion sensors, the BIG AIR jacket concept has situational awareness and can increase the number of flips and spins. If the rider experiences any loss of control, the jacket can bring him or her back to vertical as well as assist the rider safely back to the ground. The fin-shaped turbines will be lightweight metal alloy as an external feature built into the jacket through supporting internal skeletal structures.

Canadian company Hexoskin has launched a new biometric shirt so you have no more excuses to train outside in the cold. Arctic is a long-sleeved version of the original biometric shirt that has all of the fitness tracking capabilities of the regular shirt but tosses in custom materials designed specifically for keeping the wearer warm. The shirt can measure heart rate ECG monitor, breathing rate and volume , cadence , speed, altitude, as well as steps, GPS.

Another Canadian company – because in Canada they know what a real winter is – launched a smart heated base layer on Indiegogo called Flame. It is a black fully-washable base layer with an intelligent heating system. It provides soothing heat when it senses that you are cold and turns off when you are fully warmed up. It is constructed from bamboo fabric. There are three heating elements integrated into the fabric, two in the front and one in the back. This way it keeps your torso warm and promotes blood circulation. It can be used for any winter outdoor activity such as skiing, biking, commuting and outdoor laboring or simply watching the polar bears enjoying the cold.

If you are into ice hockey FWD Powershot is for you. You have to insert the 7-inch device into your hockey stick. It communicates with an accompanying app to track and give feedback on your performance on the ice. The device includes a battery, six motion detectors and a Bluetooth module. The app creates a personalized profile to track your stats and progress in categories such as stick speed, puck speed, shot acceleration and puck rotation.

From the safety perspective there is still nothing better than ICEdot. The emergency identification and notification service provides first responders with critical health information at the scene of an accident. Stored information includes emergency contacts, such as family members and crucial medical details, e.g. diabetes, or allergies. If a member has the ICEdot app running, family members and other authorized contacts can easily track the member’s latest route and position via a simple SMS text. The Crash Sensor is a slim device that will mount on any helmet. When paired with the ICEdot app on a smart phone, the system is able to detect motion, changes in forces, and impacts. ICEdot will be exhibiting at the WT | Wearable Week in Munich from the 2nd to the 8th of February.

For extreme conditions and brave explorers you have the Life Tech Jacket – which is like the Swiss Army Knife but in form of a jacket – a life saver when you are out there in the wild. The designer behind this jacket is the company Seymourpowell for the outdoor sportswear brand Kolon Sport from Korea. The Life Tech jacket has a tri-layered system made up of an outer waterproof and windproof, breathable Gore PRO outer shell jacket; a thermal inner layer with a Heatex System (the world’s first conductive polymer heating system); and a stretch fabric base layer with electronic device and battery stowage with proximity to core body heat. Other design features include a wearable wind turbine generator and a wearable first aid and survival kit. The wind turbine mounted onto the sleeve of the jacket can be angled to generate power throughout the day whilst the wearer is on the move. It can also be removed and attached to the exterior of a tent to continue generating power overnight. The turbine can charge auxiliary devices such as GPS & smartphones for essential navigation and communication. The Heatex System provides up to seven hours of potentially lifesaving heat up to a temperature of 40-50°C around vital organs. As we said this is like the Holy Grail for your next snow adventure!