Changing into a ski center connected to the future appears to be the goal of many resorts, thus many resorts are investing in digital and emerging technologies. This can be seen in the new applications, trends, projects or at least in the evolution and improvements done to make the user’s navigation easier. However, what is actually new? What will this season’s new developments be?
Many ski resorts already use apps for their phones and tablets, however this is technology continues to evolve and innovate. For example, the French Paradiski Yuge project concentrates on customizing information and solutions to meet the user’s needs and depending on the current weather. Overall, Paradiski offers personalized information with a promising design!
Another example in innovation is Grandvalira in Andorra. This winter, they are adding a GPS navigator to their mobile application. It is an authentic “TomTom,” that navigates users around the resort’s slopes. Depending on the skier’s skill level and some additional settings, ex. “the minimum distance” or “the fastest route,” the navigator locates the skier and lays out a route for them to follow in any of the resort’s six ski areas. Another bonus is that the app is equipped with an audio guide. This means that skiers can put their phones in their pockets, listen to audio directions in their headphones and be guided to their destination.
While discussing mobile applications, we should also talk about other portable technologies that are on the market, like the “Trace” application. Trace records the skier’s activities. This app is compatible with Apple’s SmartWatch and can be controlled from the watch.
The Skitude application is compatible with the Pebble SmartWatch and records the user’s activity on the slopes, available on Android phones.
The recording and use of videos is becoming an increasingly widespread activity, one just needs to look at the proliferation of mini-cameras on ski helmets. Now, we will talk about the new video services used at ski resorts.
Verbier, Switzerland, has already given the word for drone usage. In New Zealand, ski resorts have introduced the phrase “dronie” with #NZdronie, and it is clear that these small unmanned planes are set to invade the European ski resorts with the objective to record descents from a unique perspective. Through projects like, Lily and Hexo+, one can already imagine all that we will see flying over the slopes during the upcoming years.
Here is one example:
Another trend that we are going to see are devices that make recording adventures easier, especially for skiers during their descents. These devices let users share their videos on social networks. Fun-cross, snow-parks or competition designed areas of resorts have video cameras installed, which was a goal completed by the Peyragudes, La Molina and Baqueira ski resorts.
Location based Information
Providing information is always good, but it’s even better when the user receives customized information based on their location. Installing Beacon devices is a way to find information, just like Grand Tourmalet did the past season. The resorts installed these small devices and they broadcasted information via Bluetooth.
However, a good WiFi connection is necessary to take advantage of these digital improvements. Thus, the number of resorts that have free internet access will increase this winter. Les Gets, in the French Alps, offers mini WiFi pocket routers to rent so that their guests never miss the opportunity to tweet something or post a photo to Instagram!