A high-tech augmented reality ski helmet which includes GPS, a speedometer and the ability video call friends on the slopes is being tested in Austria.
Former Israeli Air Force pilot Alon Getz helped design the new cutting-edge technology as part of his start-up company RideOn.
He said: ‘I’m a software engineer, doing a lot of computer-vision and Artificial Intelligence. I was working in the defence industry leading Augmented Reality projects for the military.
‘I’m also a snowboarder who goes snowboarding almost every year in the Alps. I founded RideOn in 2014 to bring the same experience a fighter pilot has in the cockpit to the slopes.’
The ‘Mohawk’ helmet is designed to allow snowboarders and skiers to travel down the slopes with all the latest information projected onto their visor.
Users are able to pinpoint their exact location through GPS and navigate all slops on a map, check their velocity, heartbeat, weather forecast and outside temperature.
Helmet users are also able to listen to their favourite music and make live video calls with friends on the slopes.
With an integrated camera, snowboarders and skiers can record their downhill runs.
Their also also an emergency button feature which will directly alert the nearest emergency services.
Getz said: ‘In terms of technology, the helmet in the fighter aircraft is totally different from what we have, just imagine the price tag for a start.
‘However, the experience we want to have outdoors is the same. Seeing important information such as ski lifts, friends, bars and more, knowing your speed and altitude, communication with your friends. Everything is operated hands free.’
The entrepreneur said the features he most liked were the ‘online maps and connection to friends in real time’.
Trial runs for the helmet are underway at the Schladming-Dachstein ski resort in the Austrian state of Styria.
Skiers at the Planai Cable Car Station can test the helmet for free for 30 minutes, or rent one for the day for just €20, although holidaymakers will have to be quick as there are only 20 helmets available.
Schladming-Dachstein tourist bureau chief Mathias Schattleitner called the hands-free operating system of the helmet ‘very intuitive’ and said that new users will have mastered it within two minutes.
According to Getz, the helmet will also feature at the Austrian ski resort of St. Anton in February and will be made available for early adopters at ski resorts across the world.
He said: ‘We’ll have some more trials in individual places. We have 3D maps for all resorts worldwide.’