AUSTIN, USA –What happens when you combine a Nokia N8, some pro snowboarders from Burton, five sensors w/ Bluetooth, and a custom app? You get “Push Snowboarding”, collaboration between Nokia and Burton. Today at SXSW, guys from the two companies hosted a panel and discussed their project to a drop-jawed audience.
For those who haven’t seen it, Push Snowboarding is a project that creates a personal ‘dashboard’ for snowboarders carrying a Nokia N8 and a bunch of other sensors. The Nokia N8 GPS measures altitude and speed whilst 4 other sensors send data to the device where the Push Snowboarding app gives 6 readouts: speed, altitude, orientation, foot pressure, airtime and the rush you feel as you ride. Wicked.
Until now, Push Snowboarding has only been trialed by pro riders such as snowboarding great, Terje Haakonsen who has ridden with the kit both at the Burton European Open and at his own Arctic Challenge in Norway. Other Burton riders on the development team include Joachim Krogstie, Tor Lundstrom and Kim Rune Hansen.
A few years back, Burton – who admitted they didn’t invent snowboarding but took it to an entirely different level – got a call from a couple Nokians with an idea. The original idea was to create an SDK for snowboarding, something developers could build on top of – they weren’t sure what it would become.
What was built is “kinda a sensor framework” as they described it. Different sensors could be swapped in and out at ease. New sensors could mean new use cases. How about surfing, skateboarding, or horseback riding? And since it’s all on a Nokia N8, developers have access to other features like OTA. How about uploading your data to Twitter? Or competing with your friends on Facebook? One of the panelists would like his N8 to play an applaud sound when he lands. Or in my case, a “boo…” sound.
According to another panelist, this kind of configuration wouldn’t be possible on some other popular smartphones due to hardware and software configurations – so a Nokia N8 was essential.
This is only the beginning for Burton and Nokia in this realm. They promised some additions coming very soon. I’m not even a snowboarder, but I can’t wait – this surely is a glimpse into the future of mobile tech.
The Panel at SXSW