For the first time, skiers and snowboarders can use augmented reality to move around the trails at ski resorts. What is augmented reality?
We've all seen that yellow line come across the television screen when we're watching a football or hockey game. That bright image lets the viewer know where the ball or puck is on the screen.
That same technology can be used on an iPhone 3GS at certain North American ski resorts, thanks to Colorado-based Resort Technology Partners.
The REALSKI application uses the iPhone's camera, compass, GPS and other 3G features.
Skiers and boarders can use their iPhone's camera to see their surroundings while the app overlays digital graphics that shows lifts, runs, bathrooms and even where you car is parked.
No need to unfold a trail map that is stuffed inside your coat pocket. The images are in real time so as someone heads down the hill, the key points of interest will adjust on the screen.
RTP launched REALSKI at Copper Mountain on Thursday. The plan is for the application to work at all Colorado resorts by the end of the year.
The man who invented REALSKI used to work for Microsoft. Mark Roebke then left the software company to work at Vail Resorts. Roebke left Vail when he founded RTP in 1998.
RTP provides software and Web development to the resort, recreation and hospitality industries. In the past year, it has seen double digit growth. That is impressive in a year when the economy has had a negative effect on this industry. RTP is expanding as well into Europe.
For more information on REALSKI go to http://www.rtp.com/info/realski.asp
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