5 August 2018 from Danielle in 'Ski areas'' | 0 Comments

Screens on chairlifts

© Alpine Media Technology

An American company called Alpine Media Technology is in the process of rolling out groundbreaking technology that will see screens installed on ski lift safety bars. Conceived by Freddie Peyerl, Gerrit VandeKemp and Jeffrey Connors and inspired by aerospace engineering technology, the screens are designed to excel in cold weather and bright sunlight. Patents are pending in 19 countries for these screens, which will display useful information as well as adverts to skiers and snowboarders as they ride the lift. Looks like the days when skiing was an excuse to unplug and enjoy the mountain scenery will soon be gone...

Alpine Media Technology claims “Knowledge is Powder”

The cheesy catch-phrase refers to the purported primary aim of the screens, which is to help skiers and snowboarders get the most out of their skiing day by providing them with information such as trail maps with real-time open/closed status, grooming reports, data on lift queues, weather and safety alerts and even traffic reports for those making the drive back to Denver. All this information is kept updated thanks to the wifi that’s also installed in the lift. Of course, like all new technology nowadays, one might argue the main point of the screens is to provide yet another space for adverts.

Winter Park Resort debuted the screens in the 2017/2018 ski season

Winter Park Resort near Denver, Colorado was the first to test out the “LiftDigital” system, which includes the screens as well as a wifi hotspot in each chair. The Intrawest-owned ski area successfully ran the screens in the 2017/18 ski season and both partners appear to be happy with the results. Alpine Media was hoping to install their technology in more Intrawest resorts but given the recent acquisition of Intrawest by Alterra, this has yet to be confirmed. Alpine Media also has patents pending in France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, among others.

Testing out the new screens on ski lifts

© Alpine Media Technology

New screens on ski lifts will show real-time info about slopes, weather, etc.

Ski lift screens to keep updated through wifi

© Alpine Media Technology

Is this the end of a technology-free ski holiday?

We’re all increasingly glued to our smartphones and even without these screens, we’d probably still be posting on Instagram whenever we can get a data signal on the chairlift. But some are arguing that Alpine Media Technology is taking things a step too far. Since skiers and snowboarders are essentially a captive audience when they are riding the lift, this technology promises to fundamentally change the winter sport experience. No more chatting with friends or enjoying the panoramic alpine views – the co-founders already admitted they were intrigued by the way customers at a petrol station seemed glued to the screens by the gas pumps, a situation they thought would play out similarly on ski lifts. Whether you like it or not, this will probably be an integral part of your ski experience soon.

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Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!

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