The Push Snowboarding project is a collaboration between Nokia and Burton to create an open snowboarding innovations platform.

London based creative agency hypernaked contacted Vitamins to collaborate on researching, prototyping, designing and testing an entire interactive, wireless snowboard telemetry system from scratch! Needless to say we were extremely excited and couldn’t wait to get started!

We designed and built a set of little sensors which the rider wears, that all communicate wirelessly to a mobile phone in their pocket. We made a custom app on the phone and we created special software to make a high definition video showing all of the measurements.

Sound complicated? Don’t worry, basically this was a way of pushing technology to create a way of visualising all the things you can’t actually see in snowboarding.

Screenshot of the custom software we created to create HD visualisations of the data

The snowboarder wears the sensors on their body, they measure sweat, heart rate, balance, 3D motion and position, geographical location, speed and altitude.

All of that information is measured many times a second, and sent wirelessly to the phone. We then have a clever way of synchronising all of the information to an actual video of the snowboarder – which allows us to generate graphics showing all of the measured data in a really clear and simple way.

There’s a video at the end of this post showing what this looks like.

What’s interesting is you can begin to see connections between things like sweat and the sorts of jumps the riders are trying. We’ve made all of the information available through the push snowboarding website to see what people can do with the data.

This was a 6 Month project, and thanks to the open source experimental nature of the collaboration, we were able to plan out a really natural and organic design process.

The entire project was open source, and in fact we’ve shared all of the circuit diagrams, microcontroller code, and phone application code so anyone can pick up the pieces and continue innovating – which can be found on the push snowboarding website by clicking here.

If you’re interested in prototypes make sure to check out the inventions we made in the testing stages by clicking the post below. As a teaser here’s us testing a wind speed sensor – it didn’t work in the end!

Photos: Tyson Benton & Vitamins