Ski tracker keeping ski students safe on slopes

TalkPool and Wuerth ITensis will be deploying a ski tracker solution, following a successful trial, using Semtech LoRa wireless RF technology to monitor skiing students on the slopes of the Swiss Alps in the upcoming 2016/17 ski season.

A LoRaWAN Low Power, Wide Area Network (LPWAN), comprised of base stations and sensors embedded with Semtech LoRa technology, is the key component to this new tracking solution. Each student who takes a lesson at the LAAX resort in Switzerland will be equipped with a sensor module that transmits the student’s location to the network via a gateway. All instructors will be able to tap into this information using an app on their smartphone. The app will provide instructors with visual cues they can follow on an interactive map. For example, a green dot displays for students who are close by, while a red dot indicates students who might be lost, allowing the instructor to locate them quickly.

Semtech LoRa technology keep skiers safe in the Alps
Semtech LoRa technology keep skiers safe in the Alps

Being able to locate a lost student fast on the mountain is important because if the student is disoriented due to the elements or an injury, a quick response is critical. In addition to safety, the ski tracking solution improves the efficiency of ski instructors as they are able to spend more time teaching rather than searching the mountain for lost students using only their eyesight.

Robert Spertina, Head of IoT & Managing Director, TalkPool, commented: “We are happy our solution was chosen by LAAX to track and keep students safe at their ski school. The LoRaWAN network platform offers the type of long range RF communications required to monitor students in vast mountainous terrain, while also using very little power. This provides the ski resort with a solution that works well and is cost effective. For example, one base station can cover an area several kilometers wide and the sensor batteries can last for years, which means they do not have to be replaced very often.”

“The large amount of data must be stored safely and quickly available. We use our own data cloud in Switzerland and developed an easy to use hybrid application for the back office and the ski instructors,” said Claudio Hagmann, Head of IoT, Wuerth ITensis.

“We were pleased that after several months of testing, a sensor network based on our LoRa RF technology was chosen to keep skiers safe on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. Companies are using our technology to develop some truly remarkable outdoor tracking applications. The latest solution from the TalkPool and Wuerth Itensis teams for the LAAX mountain resort is an excellent example of this and also serves to highlight how LoRaWAN solutions can be used to make the world a safer place,” added Mike Wong, Vice President, Marketing and Applications, Wireless and Sensing Product Group, Semtech.

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