Young Woman Invents Intelligent Ski Equipment, Benefits Skiers
Wei Xuanyi April 24, 2017Comments(0) Post Your Comment E-mail Print Save

Cao Hui, a skiing enthusiast, and her partners recently invented SKiiN, an intelligent, wearable device that can be installed on skis and snowboards. As an increasing number of Chinese have taken up skiing since Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, Cao hopes the device will help people ski in a scientific way.

Cao Hui, born in 1990, graduated from Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, with a major in new media art, in 2014. She began to work as a journalist at Snownow, a professional website about skiing, after she graduated from the university. At that time, she wrote articles about high-tech ski equipment.

"I began learning how to snowboard in the winter of 2012. I love snowboarding. So, I worked as a journalist at Snownow website after I graduated from the university. I knew much about high-tech ski equipment when I was working at the website," says Cao.

"I heard about the China-US Young Maker Competition in June 2015. I organized a team to participate in the competition. I wanted to invent a wearable device related to skiing. At the beginning, we planned to invent a device that could produce sound effects when the users were skiing, so, skiing would be cooler," says Cao.

Later, Cao's team improved the device. It has more functions. It can collect and document the users' ski data, including time, speed and distance. That means users can know exact details of their ski conditions. It also guides users how to ski in a scientific way, and how to do ski movements. It helps skiers improve their skills and prevent injuries. The device is suitable for skiers of all skill levels.

"The device can also be used to position the users. It not only prevents users from being lost, but also helps to rescue skiers … Also, users can play motion-sensing games, by using the device and a television. In this way, we can 'ski' indoors, at any time," Cao says.

Cao's team won third prize in the final of the competition. Many people were attracted by the device; they believed it was a innovative, high-tech ski equipment. However, Cao thinks she only does what she likes.

"I have loved inventing and making items since I was young, as my father exerted an influence on me. He made the furniture in my home. He even made toys for me when I was young. He also encouraged me to make items," recalls Cao. 

She resigned her job at the beginning of 2016 so she could start her own business. She led her team in improving the device's appearance and functions. Now, it is ready for mass-scale production. More people will be able to use the device in the near future.

"More and more people are learning skiing, as Beijing and Zhangjiakou will host the 2022 Winter Olympics. However, many people ski in the wrong way, and they will be easily injured. I hope the device will help users ski in a scientific way, and enjoy a good time at the ski resort," says Cao.

(Executive Editor: DOU DOU, Women of China English Monthly January 2017 Issue)

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