Nokia has teamed up with Burton Snowboards to merge real snowboarding with virtual reality. Using a set of sensors that allow a snowboarder to record a real-time run, anyone can compare their results online with the pros – just like gaming. Beware Shaun White, the competition is about to get a lot bigger. Here’s everything you need to know…
An augmented Push from reality
Nokia's Finnish, so they must love snow. We reckon they all snowboard to work daily. But they’ve clearly grown bored of the commute and decided to spice up the experience by teaming up with Burton for the Push system that merges real boarding with virtual reality.
This robot kit monitors your boarding efforts. From speed to altitude, your every move is logged, even the direction your board is facing. It'll also measure your heart rate and "galvanic skin response" (how sweaty you get) to give what Nokia calls your rush level. They’ve even created a pressure sensitive board that can tell when you’re making a jump.
It’s one thing to record a jog for personal progress but another for snowboarding. If you’re not a pro this might seem a waste of time. It’s not – there’s a growing community at Pushsnowboarding.com where users upload their runs for others to compete against. Like global boarding high scores...
Pioneering pro riders
Although the kit is still in development, some of the world’s best pro boarders have tested and loved it. Below is a video of world TTR Snowboard champion Peetu Piiroinen using the gear on a run at the 2011 Burton US Open. How his heart doesn’t explode is beyond us.
Nokia Push is open source. This means users can develop limitless adaptations. One bit of software that's already been made uses the information to manipulate video playback of a run: while the boarder's on the ground the pixels float about, but once he's airborne it snaps together to create a super clear image. Breathtaking, just like the real thing – and this is just the start.