Ski season is in with full swing and downhill resorts are serving thousands of skiers and snowboarders around the country on a daily basis. While chairlifts are primarily methods of transport up to the top of the mountain so that users can ride back down, advances in technology are changing their utility. Alpine Media Technology is installing digital screens into chairlift restraining bars at Winter Park Resort to bring useful, real-time information to skiers and snowboarders. They’re calling this innovation LiftDigital — and it will change the way you experience a chairlift ride.
Winter Park Resort in Colorado is the first location in the world to integrate computing devices into its restraint bars but designers are sure it won’t be the last. The digital screens resemble tablets and are integrated as pairs into the flat bars. While one screen permanently shows a trail map highlighting the lift you’re riding, the other screen displays a plethora of rotating information users will find pertinent to their surroundings.
This information includes trail and chairlift statuses, grooming reports, lift wait times, weather forecasts, safety alerts, and travel reports for local traffic, air travel, and trains. In addition, the digital screens have the capacity to provide information about special events that are taking place at the resort or in town, as well as local specials and discounts. The screens will cycle through new information every 30 seconds.
It won’t just be skiers and snowboarders who will benefit from these new computing devices — advertisers will have the ability to display ads on the screen alongside relevant information. While the test screens run on batteries, once the system is fully installed, the screens will be recharged with each pass of the lift bullwheel. The screens utilize an extensive Wi-Fi network, allowing for updates in real time. The displays are contained beneath durable glass that can withstand harsh alpine conditions and unavoidable rough contact with people and equipment. They are assured to be bright and readable during any time of day. The test program is running on five chairlifts at Winter Park Resort for this season.
“You won’t just see more of it at Winter Park, I think it’s something you’ll see more of all around the world,” Winter Park spokesman Steve Hurlbert told GearJunkie.
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