28 September 2010
Nokia Partners with Burton to provide snowboarders with mobile, trick-tracking utility
Over a year ago we reported on Nokia's PUSH Project - an open call to artists and modders in which they were invited to create the most innovative hacks of the then-new N900 smart phone - enabled of course by the device's open-source Maemo operating system...
One of the most exciting ideas to emerge from this project - PUSH Skating has inspired a new collaboration with Burton. Developed by hacking crew the Solderin Skaters, this prototype uses tech fitted to a skateboard which is capable of 'speaking' to the phone, communicating data about the movement of the board and allowing the skater to record and track each trick they pull.
Adapting this concept for snowier climbs of course relied on finding a suitably innovative partner; cue Burton - builders of the world's first dedicated snowboard factory and now one of the largest snowboard and accessories manufacturers in existence...
The result is Nokia PUSH Burton - a collaboration to create technology similar to Solderin Skaters' prototype - allowing 'smart' boards and clothing to communicate complex real-time data to a phone handset. In the true open-source spirit of PUSH, the developer community will be invited to work on the beta and all progress will be documented at the Nokia PUSH Burton blog.
As well as sharing tricks and runs with friends via social media integration, Nokia and Burton are hoping that riders will be able to use the unique datasets to create practical, engaging and beautiful visualisations. Ben Mason is a strategist at Hyper London - the agency responsible for overseeing the project. He explains:
'This is a part of a growing line of Nokia Push projects where we've relinquished control over the output to the community that forms around the project. These are about the potential of Nokia devices to facilitate innovation in something such as snowboarding (to push it) as well as the potential of ingenious people to devise and create that innovation using the devices.
'We're creating the opportunity by creating the hardware and generating the data. The community can then define how it's used. We're building an open platform - same as any Nokia Push project. This ensures we create something that people want to be a part of - rather than the usual communications model of deciding what you want to say and then forcing it on people.
'With regards to the resultant data visualisation, we don't know what will happen. And that's the beauty. This snowboarding data hasn't been captured before. So we've no idea what the uses of it will be. There's a huge potential in connecting snowboarding; the community will decide the best ways to use it.'