Nowadays we rely on our mobile phones for everything - calling, messaging, looking up videos, posting pictures... and soon, it may be possible to use your smartphone as a ski pass! Starting tomorrow, the Monte Popolo Eben (Snow Space Salzburg) is rolling out a week-long trial of smartphone ski passes.
The ski resort has been bandying about the idea all season. Just like most ski resorts, users would be buying their ski pass with a smartphone, filling in their personal details, but then, instead of picking up the ski pass or having it mailed to them, they would be able to load the pass directly onto their phone. As with most ski passes, they would then pass through the turnstiles with the phone in their pocket, and the machine would read it automatically. Currently, the technology exists but is only available for Android users.
On a ski holiday, smartphones are regularly confronted with extreme temperatures, high humidity levels and intensive battery use. Add to this the fact that many people are wearing gloves while using their phones, plus the fact that the screen becomes difficult to operate at negative temperatures, and it's easy to see why some people might have some reservations about putting a valuable lit pass on such a potentially faulty item. According to the manager of Skidata, the company behind the access and ticket systems, this has been taken into account and is the reason such extensive testing has been carried out. Should a guest's telephone experience technical issues during a day on the slopes, they can pick up an "old-fashioned" ski pass at the ticket office. This is easy to do in Monte Popolo Eben, since the lifts are close to the ticket office.
After an extensive internal testing period, the app is finally ready for testing in a ski area. Starting tomorrow, tests will be run in the small ski resort of Monte Popolo Eben in the Snow Space Salzburg. This tiny ski area only has two chairlifts, so it's easy to analyze the results. Testing in Monte Popolo will be carried out from Monday to Friday. Android-compatible ski passes are available from the Ski amadé ticket shop. Smartphone ski passes are currently being sold at a reduced rate to encourage participation in the testing phase.
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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