Very bizarre — I’ve had three dreams over the past week about being back on the Bansko slopes. It’s the peak summer month of July, for heaven’s sake. But this got me thinking about how skiing, the emerging tech of Virtual Reality (“VR”) and the huge Pokemon Go app explosion will help shape the ski experience of the future.
I’ll be the first to predict you’ll see plenty of people burying their heads in their phones (guilty as charged, m’lord) this winter. I’ve only just managed to get to level five – and I can now see why this is the biggest game to ever be launched. Already bigger than flappy birds — which I seemed to feel as I was the only person who never bothered with. In Poke´mon we finally we have an augmented reality game that brings us outside.
This Poke´man Go is fun. A moment in gaming and social history when people emerged from the bedroom to stand the chance to interact with others — without the need to use Tinder. I won’t bother describing it — but just to say it is quite addictive. I’ve never bothered with games in the past but this one seems quite different to me.
I just hope we don’t see people skiing and snow boarding with their phones in front of them. But I bet I will.
My Oculus Rift experience
With the Bansko film festival under way right now, I managed to have a chat with, Momchil Alexiev, a VR film maker — click on play here.
I tried the oculus rift headset for the very first time. Instantly I could see how VR is set to change many things. Gaming, learning, education and story telling.
The tech is a little clunky right now — but listen to my chat with Momchil and my experience of wearing a headset and a more “extreme” case of a short tandem paragliding movie. As this is a sport I also do, then I feel well positioned to comment on how real it makes you feel. Very immersive. I think quite revolutionary.
As Momchil says in the podcast, there have been many false starts with VR, but now with the huge backing of Facebook, who own Oculus Rift, this seems like another technology getting ready for prime time.
In my mind we’ll see a load more tech come to skiing. VR Gamification head ski goggles are soon to be launched that give the Pokeman experience, but without holding your phones. Virtual “gates” and virtual “targets” are placed infant of your eyes using these special goggles. There will be those who say it will remove the pure feeling of being in the mountain. Whether worth the investment is totally another matter.
In a few years time, I predict it will will be this tech that will help enhance the experience and add variety that sometimes you need. This is especially the case if you ski the same place regularly — like I do.
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