Instructors spend a lot of time helping clients find a more centred/balanced stance to help their riding improve, so naturally the team were excited to hear about the XON SNOW-1 snowboard binding which launched at CES 2015. Dubbed – THE SMART BINDING!
The bindings set for launch late 2015 use 4x load sensors (2 per foot, under the heel and toe) and 2x flex sensors (nose and tail), to collect real time data and provide a detailed overview of the riders technique during each run.
The system measures:
- Weight distribution, between left/right foot and toe/heel.
- Nose/tail flex
- A percentage metric listed as ‘gravity‘, presumably incase you get all SSX Tricky that day.
Readings are fed back to the rider via bluetooth 4 to an IOS/Android smart phone app (video demo below) allowing you to evaluate your technique either on the fly or at the end of a run/day. Each binding also houses LED’s in the toe and heel section, the brightness of which increases proportionally with the pressure applied to that area giving you instant visual feedback of your weight distribution.
It all sounds pretty awesome with heaps of possibilities plus linked with other possible forms of feedback (video overlay against metrics, GPS etc) you could have some serious geek out sessions either in the lab or on snow and indeed some novel ways of helping train clients, athletes or instructors. The potential to link this with existing heads up display (HUD) goggle technology is another exciting avenue we’d love to see developers explore.
So it’s the best thing since sliced bread then? …Well maybe not…
As with any invention, no matter how cool, it all boils down to whether it holds any real world relevance and application. Agreed the XON SNOW-1 bindings have a lot going for them and we’re super keen to get our hands on a set, but we couldn’t help overlooking the following points:
- The brights lights – Firstly the aim is for a self check feedback method on the go which sadly isn’t achieved as you’re required to look down at the LEDs breaking any solid posture. Secondly, and more importantly, everyone else can now spot see how crap your weight distribution is from a mile away.
- The app – Currently only any good after the run, unless you want to spend the whole time looking at your phone. Goggle integration people!
- The flex sensors – WHY?! General consensus here is it’s pretty obvious if the nose or tail of your board are bending, we also don’t see the adhesive holding up for long and they look pretty ‘garden shed’.
- The target market and price – They look cool, but who is actually going to benefit from them and also part with an estimated £250-£400?
- The bindings themselves – Doesn’t matter how much feedback tech you load them with, they need to be good bindings to ride and that’s a big wedge under foot in the photos!
They could be great but with a few major questions from us we’ll be holding out on full judgement until the demo.
Full details available on the Cerevo Website
Check out the ‘Minority Report’ style online demo of the app…