Funding goal smashed as backers get behind Carv, the next big thing in wearable ski technology.
Shenzhen is hardly the centre of the global ski community, but that hasn’t stopped a team at the prestigious Shenzhen-based hardware accelerator, HAX, from launching and successfully funding one of the most promising pieces of ski tech going around.
The Carv team, led by PhD and Masters students from University of Imperial College London and their HAX mentors, raised their initial Kickstarter goal of 50,000USD in just two days and finished with more than 275,000USD in funding, thanks to contributions from 1,234 backers.
Carv has been launched as a digital ski instructor, tracking movements and collecting data through sensors that are placed in the skier’s boots, which then feed through to the Carv app in real time. Skiers receive intelligent feedback and advice on-screen, through headphones or via heads-up displays.
The technology has applications for skiers of all levels according to Faction Skis founder, Alex Hoye, who has served as an advisor to the Carv team and is one of a few high profile supporters of the technology.
“It’s something that not only can help the best racers in the world improve their time by that 1/100th of a second that matter but it can help a whole range of people ski better.”
Carv has also received an endorsement from 3-time Olympian Jernej Koblar, who praised the product for its ability to let the skier “know what’s actually happening”, rather than the more conventional reliance on film, sight or feel.
The business now enters an exciting phase, with testing to continue over the next few months before production of the first batch of units in October.
The first beneficiaries of Carv’s potentially ground-breaking new tech will be its Kickstarter backers who, as “super early bird” investors, pledged as little as 169USD for a single set (retail value is expected to be much higher).
The Carv team are yet to make it clear when the product will be released to the general public, but there is little doubt that they have done enough to catch the attention of the ski industry’s early adopters. Their product’s fundraiser video has been seen by more than 1,700,000 Facebook users since it was released in February and has notched up over 2,600 shares.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on any developments from the team at Carv, so watch this space!