As wildfires descend on the forests of British Columbia, it is safe to say that ski season is over.
But powder-chasers lament the dry and heat of summer sun, reminiscing instead for blankets of white once again draped over Vancouver’s majestic mountain range.
And there are a lot of these snow-seekers: North American ski hills get about 80 million visits per year.
However, ripping down mountains in the dead of winter isn’t the safest activity. Canadian youths alone experience more than one thousand hospital emergency room visits per year from ski and snowboard-related accidents.
Estimates suggest up to 20% of these injuries involve the head, which is of particular concern. A head injury on the slopes could incapacitate a person from calling for help.
SkiKrumb provides a safety net for outdoor enthusiasts braving the wintry hills.
The Vancouver startup is developing a compact, waterproof, and durable device that combines GPS technology with a software platform to mitigate the risks associated with skiing and snowboarding.
This small tracking device that can be securely attached to outerwear or comfortably slipped into a pocket. Each tracker is assigned a unique code, which connects it to the skiKrumb app, available on cellphones or laptops. The tracker relays real-time location data and tracks movement or prolonged inactivity. This provides caregivers, ski hill staff, and parents with immediate visibility of their loved ones or wards’ location on the slopes.
What sets skiKrumb apart from other tracking devices, the founders say, is its reliability in cold conditions, which tend to majorly reduce the battery life of conventional cellphones. A long-lasting power supply ensures a constant flow of data, making it reliable even in frigid conditions.
Beyond the tracker, skiKrumb is aiming to provide a robust software suite that offers accurate insights and full location history for every user on the mountain.
The BC fledgling is an NVBC Competition finalist.