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Control your Android device while skiing with the new Neva smart ski pole

May 14, 2012

No matter if you’re a professional or an amateur skier, you probably know that hitting the slopes often means forgetting all about technology and avoiding any gadget that you use on a regular basis.

But what if you simply can’t let go of your smartphone for that hour or those couple of hours when it should be all about you, the snow and the slope? Well, you can risk it, take your handheld with you and try answering it while “in action”. Nine out of ten times, you will either fall and hurt yourself, get water or lose your phone in the snow. Then there’s the option to fumble for your device in your pocket when someone calls you, end up not answering it and lose precious time and speed. None of these are acceptable choices, really. What’s a skier to do?

Well, if things go according to an industrious amateur skier/software engineer/hardware hacker’s plans, you will be able to soon use Neva, the world’s first ever “Smart Ski Pole”, which will connect you wirelessly to your Android device or iPhone.

The Neva ski poles feature a small 0.96-inch OLED screen that displays certain information of crucial importance for a skier. Whenever your connected phone rings, you will get a pop-up message on the display with the caller ID information and a simple swipe of your finger (gloved or not!) will allow you to answer the phone without stopping or even slowing down.

The display will also show you short text messages received on your phone, as well as other information unrelated with your handheld, but essential for your skiing ventures, like the time, temperature and elevation of the slope.

Aside from the actual ski poles, the Neva project also includes an iPhone/Android app, which will enable all communications with your phone and manage the alerts you will receive on the pole’s display. However, you should know that the ski poles will not come with a headset included. If you actually plan on answering calls with this gizmo, you will have to consider buying a wired or Bluetooth headset, in addition.

The Neva project is still in the development and raising funds stage, so if you’re in any way interested in contributing to the “smart” ski poles’ success, you should get your credit cards out and donate as soon as possible. There’s just 23 days left before all the money needed to kick-start the project should be raised and, for the time being, the project only has a $10,808 backing. In order for the ski poles to enter production, $100,000 is needed, so a lot of ground remains to be covered (no pun intended) for this gizmo.

What’s your views on this? Is it another distraction device or a breakthrough in outdoor sports tech-gear?