EpicMix: How one app grew to rule all ski-apps

July 27, 2015

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If you ski in Colorado, you’re probably familiar with EpicMix. If you’re unfamiliar with it, think of it kind of like Nike Plus Running, only on steroids and for skiers instead of runners. It tracks your movements on the slopes, lets you share activity on social media, and even compete against friends.

Like with most things involving tech, however, EpicMix has changed over the years. The version you used last year is about as similar to the original as your new iPhone is to the original. Every year the EpicMix team from Vail Resorts, which develops the app, pushes out some sort of major improvement or feature release. We caught up with Russell Pecararo, the Director of Mountain Communications at Vail Resorts, and asked him to walk us through the app’s progression. Here’s the rundown:

2010-2011: Epic Mix is born. The first iteration of the service tracks the days you spent on the powder, which lifts you rode, and how many vertical feet you skied.

2011-2012: Photographers are added to the service. Professional photographers are stationed on the ski runs and provided with radio frequency card readers. Their photos would then be uploaded to a skier’s profile, allowing users to have free photos of themselves on the slopes. For a small, additional fee users could download the photos without a watermark.

2012-2013: Allows users to virtually race Lindsey Vonn. This year you were able to see how fast Vonn skied a run, and whether or not you could beat her time down the slope. Based on how you did compared to her, you got a corresponding ‘medal’.

2013-2014: Introduced EpicMix Academy. This year parents were able to track their children’s performance at the various participating resort’s ski schools. Every day a student would get a report card on the skills they learned, allowing parents to follow along with their kid’s progress. Perhaps more importantly, it made it so that students could pick up where they left off the year before.

2014-2015: EpicMix Guide is released. This allowed skiers to maximize their time on the mountain. It’s kind of like a high-tech Lonely Planet for skiing, or having a local ski-instructor in your pocket telling you where and when to ski to maximize your time on the mountain.

2015-2016: Pecararo declined to give us details about the functions that’ll be released in this year’s version of the app. He did, however, promise to pass along that information as soon as it was ready for the public. When he does so, we’ll pass it along to you.

 

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