For the first time, skiers and snowboarders can use augmented reality (AR), a new mobile phenomenon made possible by the iPhone 3GS, to navigate trails and on-mountain features at select North American ski resorts. Using an application developed by Colorado-based Resort Technology Partners (RTP), REALSKI™ allows riders to view their surroundings while the app overlays digital graphics showing nearby lifts, runs and resort facilities in real view and real-time. The initial version of the application will be free and includes maps for five well known resorts — Killington, Copper Mountain, Deer Valley, Northstar-at-Tahoe and Stevens Pass. Later in December, a full version of the application will be available offering maps for most North American resorts.
With REALSKI, users move the iPhone up, down, and around to scan their surroundings. Digital overlays will change in real time to match what the camera sees. This allows users to find the location of facilities and points of interest, including:
– Named runs including skill designation (green, blue, black) and directional heading
– Lift names with loading and un-loading areas
– Lodges, restrooms and restaurants
– Special areas such as terrain parks
The first version of REALSKI is anticipated to be available via iTunes by Dec. 7, and people can download the initial version for free.
When and Why AR?
Anytime a snowboarder or skier wants to orient themselves or find a facility at the resort, they can simply scan across the mountain with the iPhone’s camera and REALSKI provides the answer as chairlift names, runs, facilities, and activities pop up on the screen. The app is easy to use and works in real time. REALSKI is a technology solution that works even when there is no cell coverage as it leverages the GPS features of the phone.
How it Works
The iPhone 3GS is the first phone to offer a camera, GPS, compass and an accelerometer. This combination enables RTP to augment the reality provided by the camera with digital graphics. REALSKI layers information on top of the visuals picked up by the camera using current location and elevation detected by the GPS, the compass heading and device accelerometer. Augmented reality mobile apps are new, and RTP’s REALSKI is the first available for major mountain resorts. Patents and trademarks are pending.
Virtual Visit Mode
For those who are curious about the AR experience of REALSKI, but don’t live near one of the five initial resorts, a virtual visit mode allows users to sample the AR view from any location. The virtual visit mode “transports” the user to a predefined location at one of the initial resorts to see what’s nearby as if they were really there! More information about REALSKI is available now at www.rtp.com/realski.
REALSKI requires an iPhone 3GS (iPhone OS 3.1 or higher) as it relies on the GPS, compass, camera and accelerometer to make AR work. Skiing is inherently dangerous. Don’t make it worse by attempting to use REALSKI while you’re moving! REALSKI is for entertainment purposes and not intended for primary navigation. Have fun!
Source: RTP, Businesswire