Earlier in the week ski manufacturer Rossignol and tech start-up PIQ Robot announced the world’s first “connected ski,” bringing real-time data analytics to the slopes. But, it turns out that PIQ wasn’t content to just embed its artificial intelligence system inside a pair of skies for the first time, as the company has also announced that it is working with North Kiteboards to develop the first “connected kiteboard” too.
As with the aforementioned skies, the connected kiteboard will use PIQ’s Gaia artificial intelligence system to autonomously analyze motion throughout a kiteboarding session. The AI is capable of tracking a wide variety of movements and can deliver information directly to the rider via an LED display that has been integrated directly into the board itself. That screen can be found right between the user’s feet, allowing the user to glance down at any time to check the status of their ride.
According to PIQ, the GAIA system will be installed in North Kiteboards’ popular Jaime model, which is lauded for being fast and responsive out on the water. The embedded tech is capable of detecting even the most microscopic of movements, which will enable it to track a wide variety of metrics, including speed, height of jumps, and hang-time duration. That data can then be used by riders to see how well they performed and improve their skills over time.
As with the connected skis, the kiteboard is only in the prototype stage at the moment, although both PIQ and North Kiteboards are committed to bringing it to the market soon. The long-term plan is to offer the high-tech upgrade in a number of different boards across North’s catalog, but availability and pricing remain a mystery for now.
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