Skiing technology is constantly evolving, and the latest gadgets can not only help you ski better and more safely, but will also make the overall experience more enjoyable. Martin Bailey takes a look at the latest ski tech.
As technology gets smaller and smarter it can be integrated invisibly into any activity, with skiing being no exception. The right tech cannot only overcome the little annoyances but may also help you to take your performance to the next level.
Time to Ski
If you’re in the market for a smart watch then take a look at the new Pebble Time 2 (£179). Its new, bigger screen is an always-on daylight-readable colour e-paper display, and it doesn’t suffer the Achilles heel of other smart watches – its battery life is up to 10 days.
The new model also includes a heart rate monitor, and delivers all of the usual notifications and vibration alerts you’d expect from a smart watch. With over 10,000 apps and watch faces available in its dedicated store (many of which are free) it’s an often underrated player in the smart wearables market.
For those that want live stats while they’re actually skiing the Recon Snow2 Heads Up Display ($399 or $599 with goggles) is effectively a mini computer crammed with sensors that will track and display information such as speed, vertical drop, distance and altitude – right in your line of sight via a small screen. It can provide turn-by-turn navigation, and friends can download Recon’s Engage app to allow you to see their location on the display.
Two Nifty Chargers
Once you’re up the mountain on a blue sky day you’ll probably want to capture the scenery. Most of us rely on our phone’s camera, but the more we use our devices the quicker we suffer from ‘battery anxiety’. A couple of gadgets can take care of that. Invest in a Nomad Key (£15) for your keyring and you’ll never be without either a USB or Lightning cable again.
Couple that with a MyCharge all-terrain battery (around £32), which will last longer than most batteries in freezing cold temperatures due to its thermal protection, and you’ll be able to charge up your phone during that all-important break in a mountain restaurant.
Another common problem with phones is storage. When you’re away for several days and constantly taking pictures and video, it’s quite easy to run out of space with no means of backing up photos to make room for more. The Leef (around £40), available for both iOS and Android, is the size of a USB stick and allows you to plug in a microSD card which can then be accessed directly by the phone’s camera for photos and video. Alternatively you can shuttle content from your camera roll on to spare micro SD cards to free up storage on the handset.
After you’re done skiing for the day, if want to go exploring around the resort you still need to keep warm. The Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie hat (£26.99 from Amazon) will not only do this in style, but will also give you around six hours of playback through the built-in stereo speakers.
It has a built-in microphone to allow hands-free calling, to the left of the hat is a three-button control panel, and the inner electronics can be removed to allow the hat to be washed.
Lastly, for those times when you just can’t feel your fingers, make sure that you have a Zippo Hand Warmer (around £20).
Using standard lighter fuel, these pocket-sized furnaces will generate a constant heat for up to 12 hours.
Martin Bailey’s book: The Useful Book of Gadgets, Gizmos & Apps was published on October 4 and is available from Amazon for £9.99 (£9.49 on Kindle).