The big mountain audio app that turns tourists to locals.
Skiing is all fun and games until you're stuck on a double black diamond — Unable to find your way back to the Hot Cocoa lodge, and fearing for your life. Sherpa is a mobile app that helps mitigate the less than savory aspects of skiiing by empowers tourists with the same expert knowledge that the locals have been hoarding for decades. Fresh pow, manicured corduroy, and the best place to après are now within reach for every visitor to Copper Mountain.
What I Learned
Sometimes an idea can at once be totally obvious and ridiculously difficult to pull off. Sherpa required a new type of location tagging technology that worked with both traditional GPS and on-mountain WIFI. The result is a work in progress that gets better each season. But the core idea of better communication on a big mountain is one that helps visitors to Copper Mountain from around the world achieve something close to a locals day at the mountain.
What I Loved
Designing digital products for traditionally analog locations unlocks amazing new ways to explore what it means to know the history of your environment. It's important not to overlook the behaviors that a product engenders among its users, and Sherpa empowered participants to have a better, more informed experience on the mountain by using the product. The testing process for Sherpa, which required both frequent walks around the studio to fine-tune the location tagging, as well as visits to Copper Mountain itself to aggregate knowledge from the local ski patrolers was a unique and highly rewarding part of developing the Sherpa product.
Research, Design, Prototyping