Virtual Slalom Skiing

pregompregom Posts: 103 Baller
I just saw an article on the USA Waterski site for a new app that allows you to slalom virtually. Does anybody have more details?


  • greghayesgreghayes Posts: 102 Baller
    It looks like the best thing to do is sign up for the free beta on the site you posted.

    It’s nice to see USA Waterski promoting some tech innovation.
  • Alberto SoaresAlberto Soares Posts: 264 Baller
    edited June 2
  • pregompregom Posts: 103 Baller
    @greghayes, yes, I signed up for their beta program. Here is the original article that I saw. I was wondering if anyone in the know could give a more in depth preview of what to expect. Are you supposed to wear your iPhone while you ski? It seems it might be something more than just sitting in your favorite couch wearing goggles and pretending to be skiing...
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 676 Crazy Baller
    I still wonder how they're going to do the augmented reality piece and have it keep up with everything going on with the skiers body and position vs time.
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 756 Crazy Baller
    Get your kiddie pool out and put your ski on!
  • klindyklindy Posts: 1,992 Mega Baller
    I’m happy to answer questions the best I can.

    The app has multiple phases the last of which is planned to include augmented reality. The first phase, which is due early this summer, is an app that runs in your iPhone in the boat. After logging on, the app uses the video and various sensors in the phone to keep track of the direction of travel and the skier path. After a “pass” the software translates skier oath into a score.

    Since the iPhone sensors use the GPS and gyros to determine where the skier is relative to a slalom course the buoys are optional. Obviously It’ll be easier for the skier to know they are wide enough if the buoys are in the course.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
  • WishWish Posts: 7,071 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Does it require a pylon camera mount specifics to app or otherwise for tracking? Or can a person just hold it and follow the skier?
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • klindyklindy Posts: 1,992 Mega Baller
    edited June 2
    @wish my understanding is you can hold the camera or pylon mount it. There is supposed to be an on screen frame guide that helps someone holding the camera keep it focused.

    My guess is the system will require the skier to be in the frame all the time. I’m not sure how tolerant it will be.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
  • pregompregom Posts: 103 Baller
    Oh, I see, it's pylon mounted, at least in the first phase. If I remember correctly, somewhere I read about putting tape markers along the sides of the boat: if the rope reaches the markers, the skier made it around the virtual buoys. So this seems an evolution of that idea where the GPS and gyro sensors of the phone replace the tape markers.
  • klindyklindy Posts: 1,992 Mega Baller
    edited June 3
    @pregom I don’t think you need a pylon mount for the first version either. And while the software/app is quite a bit more sophisticated than just “replacing the tape markers”, your comment is functionally correct.

    The idea is quite interesting and the app is really very well designed and thought out.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
  • pregompregom Posts: 103 Baller
    @klindy, looking forward to trying it out.
  • pregompregom Posts: 103 Baller
    Bring it on, @greghayes, I think there are a few techies in this forum that can shake out all the bugs in no time :wink:
  • swerveitswerveit Posts: 204 Baller
    @anyone, I actually work for a AR/Software company, has anyone got these guys contact details? I may or may not be able to help...
    Ive gone via the website however its a little limited in terms of direct contact details/email
  • pregompregom Posts: 103 Baller
    @swerveit, your best bet probably is to PM @greghayes and see what he says.
  • klindyklindy Posts: 1,992 Mega Baller
    @swerveit I'm also happy to get you in contact with Greg or Jennifer. Send me a PM with some contact info and I'll connect you.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
  • skiandbehappyskiandbehappy Posts: 1 New Baller
    edited June 4
    Hi to All,

    Thanks for the interest in VSS. I would be happy to take calls and emails from anyone with a question or suggestion. Also, anyone that wants to join the all volunteer team would be welcomed. This will only be a success if the talented people from the sport come together for a joint effort of ideas and support. I really want to thank AWSA for their founding sponsorship, especially Gordon Hall from Texas, for his early support to bring this to life.

    The BETA will be just that, a test run. We need lots more funding to get it right, add Android version and the really fun features planned. As a guess, we will need at least 10k-20k per new feature. We look forward to lots of testers and feedback...especially in this phase of buggy and not that complex...hopefully you will at least see the vision of where this could go.

    We will need lots of Venture Capital to get where we want to go and investors want to see how many users we have. We need skiers to use Virtual Slalom Skiing as often as possible to make sure our retention rate is strong. The product is meant for a skier to film themselves every time he/she skis to get a score and keep his/her real-time ranking up. Basically, VSS should allow for competing every time you ski, making practice feel like a tournament and hopefully ski course or open water skiing should be more fun.

    The AR goggles are the most exciting idea and frankly the idea is just a bit ahead of the design of the current AR goggles in the market place. We have done some testing with three brands of goggles so far, but nothing is ideal yet. We need to deal with field of vision, fogging, waterproofing and floatation issues and of course we need lots more R&D funding.

    Thank you to all the skiers that have helped so far:
    Greg Hayes - Product Development.
    Thomas and Alana Latiolais - Empilio -Branding and imagery
    Todd and Sarah Ristorcelli - Orlando Content Marketing -
    Taylor Woolsey - product development
    Alex De Gunsburg - Business Development Advisory Board
    Paul Nolan - Infinibrand - developer
    Gordon Hall - Scoring System
    Erik Boone - AR R&D.
    Michael DeMello - Business Development Advisory board
    Vince Bahk - Marketing
    John Wilkins - Legal

    If you want to reach me or join the team contact me at [email protected] or by phone 407-619-4602.

    PS. If you would like to know more about investing, the project should be on on in the next week under the COMPETE Brand name. This is a crowd funding platform that offers a stock position in the project for a minimum investment of $100.

  • pregompregom Posts: 103 Baller
    Will this app try to detect and track the skier’s ski around the (virtual) buoys using sofisticated computer vision algorithms or will it try to detect and track just the rope angle from the phone’s point of view in the boat?
  • klindyklindy Posts: 1,992 Mega Baller
    @pregom @greghayes and/or @skiandbehappy may have more to add but I believe the software targets the skier location in the field of view and the rope angle isn’t part of the process. Since the iPhone can be handheld or pylon mounted there are too many variables in being able to see the rope much less determining its angle from the direction of travel.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
  • greghayesgreghayes Posts: 102 Baller
    @pregom The software is taking into account many variables from GPS, compass, video and more to create the scoring. Our ambition is to make the scoring meaningful from a coaching standpoint too. We all know from experience that some passes are better "quality" than others and we want to recognize and reward behaviors that will lead to long term skiing improvement and plan to train the software to do so.

    This is an ambitious project and as @skiandbehappy says, it will take time and funding to add everything we (and more importantly, the skiing community) want to implement. Direct feedback during the beta program will largely determine the roadmap - so please continue to speak up.
  • pregompregom Posts: 103 Baller
    Ah, great, that thread from a year ago presents the vision JLP has for this app (and for the sport). From the comments in this thread, the A/R version of the app will not happen in the immediate future. The upcoming beta version will require just an iPhone. As a skier, I guess I would miss the immediate feedback of wether I made it around the virtual buoys and I would have to wait for signals from the observer in the boat or for a replay at the end of my pass. I am looking forward to trying out!
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