Anthony Griesel was sick of having to take his gloves off and death grip his poles every time he answered his phone on the slopes. Luckily for us, he did something about it.
Griesel, a software engineer, designed a product that will solve all of his problems, the Neva poles. These ski poles have joined the ranks of “smart” products after being installed with a microprocessor. While they aren’t on the market just yet, their creator enjoyed the ski season at his home in Utah last year with a functioning prototype.
One of the poles in the set has a small OLED screen—just under one square inch that allows the user to see and answer calls, answer short text messages, and view terrain information without taking his or her gloves off or letting go of the poles themselves. They communicate with Androids and iPhones using Bluetooth technology. When the phone rings, the caller’s name shows up on the screen, and a swipe of the skier’s finger will answer or ignore the call. No more unzipping your jacket in the cold to pull out the phone you run the risk of dropping off the lift into the depths of snow below.
The user will also be able to get the time, temperature, and elevation where they are standing. For those entering the backcountry, Neva’s access to their creator’s SlopeScience website will allow them to see avalanche risks based on their GPS location. The app functions on your phone can track your route in Google Earth KML format and vertical feet gained or lost while skiing. The user also decides which function are enabled on the grip.
While the battery of most electronic devices is a concern, the Neva poles will stay charged for up to three days before needed to be powered up again and will last about 500 charging cycles.
The possibilities are endless, and Griesel is not in the mind to limit them. He’s completely open to incorporating additional technologies and invites app creators to get involved.
“While Neva is an evolution on the ski pole, it is by no means done evolving itself,” he said.
Recently, Griesel started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for his original, albeit costly, project. He has been pledged just over $7,000 of his $100,000 goal with 25 days left to reach that mark. If put into production, the poles would be manufactured in Salt Lake City. Below is his video for Kickstarter.