Satski: become the king of the ski slopes

If you're hitting the ski slopes this winter, why not upgrade from the tired old paper piste maps for something a bit more 21st Century?

Satski, appropriately unveiled last night at London's Ice Bar, is the first real time interactive GPS piste map, and "the piste map of the future" according to Piste Activities, the firm behind the device.

Real-time information

Using Satski, you'll be able to see where you are at all times, work out the best ski slopes and routes for you, navigate the piste, work out speed levels and replay your day on the slope once you're back at base. You'll be able to view and upload your routes onto Google Earth when you're done.

The very responsive colour touchscreen lets you view ski and snowboarding routes, whether you're a complete beginner or a bit of a skiing expert. You can set it to avoid black and red runs if you wish, or plot harder runs.

You'll be able to see real time statistics on your performance, including average ski speed, maximum speed achieved, distance, altitude, distance skied and altitude climbed/descended and more.

Points of interest

Satski also provides info on local points of interest on the mountain like restaurants, ski hire shops and lifts. It also includes a built in MP3 player and gaming features, should you choose not to hit the après ski and go for a quiet night in instead.

There's no tracking device on the device yet but is to be added for next season, Jean-Claude Baumgartner, COO of Satski told

"If something does go wrong, you'll be given a series of emergency numbers, including local doctors, mountain rescue and piste security, to contact," he added.

Baumgartner also told us that there are plans to include the service in some PDA devices such as the BlackBerry in the future. "For the moment though, standard mobile phones batteries don't work very well in cold temperatures so there's an issue with short battery life. There are also issues with small screens and poor GPS reception. Saying that, we might sign partnerships with PDA makers in the future."

Battery life of the Satski battery is said to be up to 46 hours, and a backup battery with 12 hours battery life is included with all units sold.

Satski is available for hire at participating resorts, costing £28 or €40 per day. At the end of the hire period, you'll be given a CD-ROM with statistics and information about your day on the slopes to take home. Alternatively, if you've got lots of money to burn, you can buy your very own unit for a cool £1,500.