It’s official — our obsession with screen time has finally gotten out of hand. A Denver-based company called Alpine Media Technology has created a system that puts digital screens on the safety bars of chairlifts. Because if, for some reason, the beauty of the scenery beneath you and the promise of fresh powder isn’t enough to draw your attention, maybe a screen can do the trick.
To be fair, it’s not as though these screens will be playing television (though don’t give these folks any ideas). Instead, they will display digital trail maps, safety tips, weather updates, trail conditions, and GPS coordinates to show chair riders their exact location. They will also, however, display ads (because these screens can’t pay for themselves). Apparently, Alpine has already negotiated deals and signed contracts with both Winter Park Resort in Colorado and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Massachusetts for the upcoming winter season.
And it certainly seems as though there are plans for even further expansion. Alpine recently raised $15,000 to further its screen placement practice on chairlifts. According to Alpine co-founder Freddie Peyerl, this money will help the company produce its screens for this coming winter. “We’ve got some tooling that we’re working on and ramping up for the production for all these units,” Peyerl told BusinessDen. “It’s really a cost of all the engineering and final development of software engineering.”
By 2018, Alpine hopes to have its screens in far more locations. In fact, the goal is to install between 4,000 and 6,000 displays at 10 resorts, Peyerl said. And while contracts with advertisers have yet to be signed, it certainly seems like businesses would be interested in getting folks’ attention as they glide up a mountain on a motorized chair.
While this may be a convenient addition for some skiers, you should probably we hope they will still look around and enjoy the natural beauty of their surroundings as they make their chairlift ascent. But if you really can’t spare a moment without looking at a tiny little screen, then rest assured that Alpine will have you covered — at least, for the time being, in a few resorts.