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September 12, 2006

"New" GPS Technology Being Used at Resorts

This article talks about the new "high tech" GPS technology being used at a couple of resorts now:

News has reached us that the French resorts of Val d’Isère, Tignes, Morzine, Les Gets, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Courchevel, La Tania and Méribel are all making the Summit Tracker available to those who want to know what they have been doing on the slopes.

It’s the same size as an average mobile phone and can be strapped to your arm without distracting the skier or snowboarder from their sport. It is also entirely safe – it receives data and does not transmit so it does not interfere with mobile phones or avalanche transceivers.

When you return the Summit Tracker at the end of the day, you can receive the day’s information and a full colour double sided report showing your activity.

Come on. I own a Garmin handheld GPS that is the size of one of the old Nokia 6100 series phones and use it while out jeeping all the time. Take that data, download it via the Serial Port interface, and plug it into Google earth and you can do all kinds of fun stuff. Take the brain power of my 10 year old. Then print up a cool picture and watch the people oooh! and awww! I wonder what they charge for this service? An extra $50 a day to wear a GPS that cost me $125 to buy (plus $50 for the serial cable).

Now, this brings up a good point. When you are out skiing backcountry, a GPS loaded with topo maps is a good idea and like they said, it is about the size of a mobile phone. Now, they talk about wearing it on your arm, but a better idea is to stick it in the strap pocket of your camelback. That is where I clip the microphone for my Motorola handheld radio. Also a good idea to have.

But don't make brain surgery into rocket science. The article acts like this is the coolest thing since Furbies or Tickle Me Elmo. Get a clue. This is one of the reasons that I dig skiing with IT guys. We are geeky and do geeky things like watch Battlestar Gallactica after the day of skiing, but chicks dig it and so do all the other people that look up to us... wait, did I miss high school? True, I used to beat those kids up with the rest of the football team and make fun of them, so I get made fun of by my geeky friends for going to high school football games every Friday night. It makes for an interesting mix when my football loving friends meet the geeky work buddies. Add some religion and politics in there and we have near fistfights. And most times it is me stirring the pot.

Posted by Justin at September 12, 2006 10:43 AM