Video Coach - a new coaching dimension
Each summer we set out to push the limit on what is possible in digital coaching - it's our goal to release something you'll be excited to ski with every day you're on snow.
A few of you might have seen some snippets of our secret mode - Video Coach - on the internet last season. There were some hushed mentions on the Carv Skiers Community, and a few whispers on various well-hidden YouTube vids.
We actually had the tech (nearly) ready for a while... its been a fundamental building block of our Ski:IQ system.
When Charlie, our data science lead, builds Carv's algorithms, he uses millions of turns of data. But we need to be sure we're grading skiing accurately (and not falling into some data biases) so we built video mode to allow us to record video alongside Carv data. We have captured literally thousands of labelled videos using this system.
Instructors from all over the world help us score our skiing and test our algorithm so we can improve our Ski:IQ accuracy every winter. Here's a little peak behind the curtain for you... there's method to the IQ, and it's checked against skiers of every level.
We know from traditional sports coaching how important visual feedback is in the learning process. When someone says 'lean forward' or 'you need to be more on the outside ski', it's easy to be blind to your own feelings.
In reality, we're all guilty of imagining that we look like Candide Thovex. It's only seeing it on video that gives you that 'aha' moment that leads to a breakthrough.
On the flip side, there's nothing better than skiing a great run and having a friend catch it on video. It can make seasons of work come to life and leave you with an Instagram shot to be proud of.
When we tested our Video Coach with a few members, we knew we were onto something special.
Carv already gives you the objective data to improve...but Video Coach brings it all to life.
However, like all game-changing upgrades, the juice required some squeeze.
- Firstly, how could we make it so that anyone could video you?
- Secondly, without them downloading an app themselves (that would be a buzz kill).
- And finally, how do we make it look beautiful enough to share?
Keeping it stupidly simple
Jasper, our Senior PM had the brilliant idea to use an instant app. These are lightweight programs that load just the Carv video recorder without the rest of the app. It meant that you can share your QR code with anyone (even a stranger on a chairlift) and they can record you without downloading a new app. Easy.
The videographer can then automagically pair with your Carv app if you are running Free Ski mode. Then you ski and they simply try to keep up!
The video data is time-synced with your Carv data so you can see a Ski:IQ for every turn. After all of that, it is automatically downloaded onto your phone, to live in your library for the future. Pretty cool.
Making it live
Our original developer version of this mode was a sight to behold. No one would share that on their feed, apart from some of our team perhaps.
We moved it to a vertical format to make it easier to share. We designed a beautiful Ski:IQ graphic and we moved some of the icons to show just the key information and fit around all social platforms. The small touches take time but make it something worthy of your best turns.
How should I use this magical new tool?
Well, get out there and record a video on your first day. Then each time you level up, or get into the groove, grab a video to see the change.
The Video Coach update is coming in mid-November. Free for all members. Stay tuned.
We'd be so excited to see our members using Video Coach as a way to track their progress. You can really see the way your skiing affects your Ski:IQ - just check out this improvement from Amelia, who runs our amazing community and webinars.
Finally, post your best moments to social and claim those bragging rights when you crush that new Ski:IQ.
See you on the slopes,
Written by: Alex Jackson
Head of Product + Marketing