“We can’t replace intuition, but we can supplement it.” -RAD
Boise, Idaho based startup, Realtime Adventure Data, or RAD, has a pretty cool tech solution to gathering snow data for avalanche prediction that is embedded into a piece of gear that backcountry skiers and snowboarders travel with at all time…poles!
“The Lyte Probe is designed to give backcountry snow travelers and snow scientists more information about the snowpack. It is a set of ski poles, or, a longer collapsible version that both contain patent pending sensors near the tip that are designed to gather information about the snowpack. These readings will be instantly transmitted to the user’s smart phone. By inserting the probe into the snowpack the user will be given a layer profile of the snowpack. These readings are meant to be correlated to a snow pit in order to identify and track potential dangerous layers. It is not meant to be used as a stand alone tool for avoiding avalanches, but instead as another tool in your repertoire of avalanche avoidance and rescue techniques.”HOW DOES IT WORK:
“The first step is to connect the user’s smart phone to the probe via bluetooth. They will then use the RAD app to act as the user interface for the probe. Once in a snowpack that has been deemed suspect, the user will press a button on the probe, or on the phone, to start the reading before inserting the probe into the snow. Once the probe has gone as far into the snowpack as desired, the user will again press either the probe button, or the phone button, to end the reading. It will then be automatically transferred to the phone for viewing. This reading can then be compared with what was found in the snow pit, and used to track the snowpack variability throughout the day of touring/riding/frolicking in the snow. Again, this probe will not keep the user out of an avalanche, it is simply another tool to shed some extra “Lyte” on the situation.”
Their garage R&D sessions are everything you want from a ski pole startup:
-If you want to nerd out on all the tech packed into these mighty poles, I suggest you look into their case studies published on Adventuredata.com. Really interesting reading.
-If you’re interested in the origin story and the current status of the company The Idaho Business Review just posted a great article you can read HERE.
[images from Adventure Data Facebook]