For a Human-Centered AI

The Skipass of the future is inside mobiles. A new idea for skiiers originated from an FBK spin-off

December 23, 2016

Motorialab, a spin-off created in the laboratories of FBK, participated and won the prize for innovation at the Vertical Innovation Camp organized last week by Dolomiti Superski. Thanks to their actions aimed at strengthening and creating new business, once again FBK gives its tangible contribution by bringing together research with the socio-economic development of the local area.

Accessing the slopes, paying the ticket, skipping the line, all through a mobile device that provides access to additional personalized services. This is the winning idea of Motorialab, presented in collaboration with five other companies in the “Vertical Innovation Camp” competition, organized last week, December 14 through 16 in Val Gardena, by Dolomiti Superski, with the Viennese WhatAVenture and Idm Alto Adige.

25 companies and start-ups, research organizations from South Tyrol and all over Europe – selected among about 100 participants – were invited to spend three days in the development of new ideas for snow sports. The organizers, who work in one of the most innovative ski resort systems worldwide – more than 10 million daily ski passes sold, 630,000 people transported per hour and 3,000 employees – were looking for an innovative solution that allowed them to increase the attractiveness of the ski area, monitor the needs of skiers while keeping economically sustainable. From these premises, the participants developed project ideas that were assessed by a jury of specialists.

The first prize, which integrates the ability to concretely develop the idea in the future, was awarded to the “Super Dolomites” team, which saw Motorialab collaborate with five other companies. Together, they presented a mobile application that allows users to buy and “charge” their ski pass directly on their mobile (thus avoiding long lines at the checkout), to access facilities through sensors present in the phone (which send a signal as soon as the skier approaches the turnstile),  to further improve the Dolomiti Superski services, or to offer new products based on user experience.

The 25 participants selected for the competition came from Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. Well-known companies in the industry were among them but also innovative start-ups, such as Motorialab, created in 2014 as a spin-off from the MPBA (Predictive Models for Biomedicine and the Environment) group at Trento-based Fondazione Bruno Kessler’s (FBK) ICT Center specializing in decision-making systems based on space-time big data.

“To find the idea” – said Riccardo De Filippi, Motorialab’s CEO – “we worked in teams with representatives of five companies: Slopestars, Tao Digital, Rateboard, AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology and Team-Mesh Biz. Each of us integrated their skills to develop a project that would be truly sustainable and that would respond to the needs of the organizers.

Like Motorialab, we specialize in user data collection. The analysis of these data, collected through the App that skiers can download on their phones, and that will also record the tastes and reports of the users, will allow the marketing department to study customized services and offers tailored”.

“Winning this international competition was really a great satisfaction” – De Filippi said – “since Dolomiti Superski handles the second largest ski area on the planet. We are now awaiting the granting of an official contract, which would allow us to concretely develop the idea.”

The report stating the reasons that led the jury to award the prize reads that the work responded in full to the criteria required, demonstrates a comprehensive approach leveraging big data and integrating user experience, also enabling the development of new additional services (source Vertical Innovation).

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