A team of Imperial alumni have created a device that helps skiers to track and monitor their performance.
The team called Motion Metrics is made up of Jamie Grant (Business School), Pruthvikar Reddy (Mechanical Engineering) and Bo Xuan Hon (Aerospace Engineering), and Samit Patel. They are currently based in the Imperial Incubator.
The device called Carv is inspired by Olympic technology and gives the kind of feedback and knowledge previously only available to elite skiers.
Using a smart boot insert and a clip on tracking device, Carv measures motion and pressure distribution and relays feedback through to earphones in real-time.
The device connects wirelessly to a smartphone, providing information and analysis ranging from simple, actionable feedback for casual skiers to detailed metrics and analysis for advanced and professional users.
“Kickstarter is an amazing platform that’s really opened up funding for products like this.” Jamie said, “As we’ve launched it we’ve found this whole community of people engaging with us and evangelising about Carv. We’ve found there’s a big consumer following for it as well as the demand coaching community we expected.”
The idea started back in 2012 when, during his PhD at Imperial, keen skier Jamie began to develop an app to track skiing performance.
“The idea was for an app to show stats and data as you ski using the motion sensor on your phone.” Jamie adds, “I worked on it myself, launching it for Android in 2013.”
After creating the app himself he pitched it to a number of ski trips, developing a beta version in time for the 2013/14 ski season which was used by more than 3,000 students on the Oxford and Cambridge ski club winter tours.
After receiving feedback on the app Jamie, now working with the rest of the Motion Metrics team decided to develop a pressure sensor to provide information on pressure that the ski community wanted.
“We were quite hesitant at first but after the feedback we decided to go for it.” Jamie said, “The sensor we’ve got now is really accurate and uses 48 sensors on each foot to map the pressure and movement of the wearer.”
“The VCC was great for us and we ended up meeting one of our investors there. They’ve got some great coaches and mentors which is a big help,” added Jamie.
With the support of their mentors, the team worked with a number of partners to develop and manufacture their current prototypes – splitting their development time between London, China and testing their designs with professional skiers on the slopes.
Carv launched on Kickstarter on 10 February with a $50,000 goal, but at the time of writing, have raised over $100,000.
Two Carv sensors and trackers costs $250, but some of the more in-depth training features offered by the app require an annual subscription of $100.
Find out more about Carv on the Kickstarter website.
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