Dainese
Airbags to better protect skiers, similar to those made for motorcyclists, are on the drawing board.
By
updated 2/1/2011 1:25:34 PM ET 2011-02-01T18:25:34

Almost anything that you can use to get around quickly comes with an airbag these days, even flying cars. So it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that airbags could be the newest accessory you see skiers wearing the next time you hit the slopes.

Just for safety, it's not news that skiers are wearing some form of protection as they race down the slopes. Olympic skiers from the United States and Canada have been doing it for years. But an Italian company is trying to bring airbag technology that has until now been used on motorcycles to ski slopes, specifically the Alpines.

The company Dainese has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Ski Federation to bring its D-Air wearable airbag technology to Alpine slopes.

According to Gizmag, Dainese is now in the early stages of testing, where the dynamics of ski racing are being monitored to tailor the existing motorcycle-specific technology to the needs of ski racers.

The company has several videoson its website to demonstrate how the airbag technology is designed to work for motorcycle riders, but none is available yet for skiers because Dainese is still so early in the testing process.

The project began last year, and is now in its first data collection phase. In the tests, skiers are fitted with a data-recording system based on an inertial platform that can record the dynamics involved in ski racing. Data collected during this phase will be used to determine the activation algorithm for the launch of the airbag, which is specially designed for Alpine skiing.

"Protecting people in sport is a corporate mission that has seen us engaged in a ceaseless process of research and innovation since 1972, said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper in a press release. "It is a process that started with motorcycling and brought us an immense wealth of knowledge that we are proud now to apply to Alpine skiing."

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