Published on March 20th, 2017 | by Greg0
Cutting Edge Tech On The Ski Slopes With The PIQ Robot
Sometimes, it seems like everything in the world is becoming connected- with more and more smart devices, sometimes it can be nice to escape, to head for the mountains. When we get a chance, and conditions are reasonable, we like to retreat to the slopes and find a nice, quiet place to clear our head and enjoy the powder. But it turns out that even in the most remote areas, technology has made a major impact- and it also is clear that there are plenty of great ways to put it to use.
The PIQ Robot (with help from Rossignol), is a sophisticated set of sensors that slip onto an ankle bracelet, pair to your phone, and use an app to help give you access to a whole lot of data about your skills. Measurements include everything from speed to more unusual metrics like carve angle, transition time, G-forces, and even things like jump height and air time. Thanks to some late snow- like last week’s storm- we were able to test our PIQ thoroughly, with a focus on intermediate rather than professional use.
We’ve seen plenty of other nifty snow gear recently- from helmets to fog-free goggles- and even other sports trackers. The PIQ is cute, compact, and light enough that you’ll barely notice it, and it’s waterproof, NFC-capable, and offers up to six hours of battery life. Like most systems, there are some fun social aspects like leaderboards to help boost the competitive side, helpful even if some of the numbers can feel disconnected from your actual performance. Unlike most others, you can use the base PIQ sensor package with a pretty wide variety of accessories, from golf and tennis to boxing and even kiteboarding.
The free app is available for both iOS/iPhone as well as Android, but it’s important to note that info isn’t available in real-time, but instead transferred and synchronized in sessions. This is fine- we’re not using our phones during runs- but slightly more limiting is the lack of mapping. The PIQ does seem perfect for racers and more serious competitors, and some of the coaching tips are interesting, but it can be difficult to put them into context other than multi-run comparisons against yourself or others around the same time. Still, it held up well over some rough environments, and more data is an excellent first step to improvement for skiers of any level. Available now online and in stores for around $199, the PIQ Robot is the most advanced analytics solution for skiing, and the fact you can use it with other pursuits is just gravy.