Israel’s RideOn to compete in Rio ‘tech Olympics’

Maker of interactive ski goggles will go up against other innovators in pre-Summer Games start-up competition

RideOn goggles in action (Courtesy)
RideOn goggles in action (Courtesy)

Israeli augmented reality tech company RideOn is one step closer to winning a grand prize of 100,000 euros ($112,000), and getting top billing at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio.

The RideOn AR system installed in specially-made ski goggles was chosen by the Hype Start-Up Foundation as the Israeli winner of its international start-up competition. RideOn will now go up against submissions from the US, Greece, Italy, UK, Kenya and Brazil in the “tech Olympics”, which will take place at the beginning of August, just prior to the real Summer Games.

Judges will include top figures in the sports and tech world: Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Olympic Organizing Committee; Daniel Brusilovsky, CIO of the NBA; Avram Grant, former coach of Chelsea football club; Yuval Brown, CEO of Saucony Israel; Mac Freeman, VP Denver Broncos (Super Bowl champion of 2016); and representatives of investment funds and private investors.

Hype is using the contest to jump-start its wide-scale platform for groundbreaking innovation in sports, focusing on wearable accessories, broadcasting tech, apps for athletes, coaches and fans.

Technology, believes investor Amir Rave, who chairs Hype, can make popular sports even more popular, and even inspire more young people to get active themselves.

“While other areas around the world are at the forefront of technological progress, the world of sports has suffered from relative conservatism for decades,” said Rave. “Our goal is to change this perception.”

Among the characteristics of the winner will be its ability to engage fans and enthusiasts, and RideOn has that covered. With its system, skiers can get information about others who are on the slopes, exchange messages with them, see ski lifts and lodges highlighted around them, pull up virtual maps, play music and more.

The information is presented through a see-through display positioned over the user’s eye. The system includes a camera, the ability to record video and has wireless connections.

“Hype is honored to create the world’s first platform for innovation in sports, a field which suffered from relative technological conservatism,” said Rave. “I congratulate RideOn for winning first place and I am confident that they will represent Israel honorably in Rio 2016.”

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