Apollo 11, The Metric System…what’s next, Satski GPS!!

I remember a time when there were no footsteps on the moon…ok well, I don’t really but just months before Apollo 11 landed and Neil stepped out I was born so I guess I have earned just about as much right as my parents to say, “I’ve seen it all.”  …Not so fast.

The man on the moon, Trudeau, The Beetles, The Montreal Olympics (on color TV), Thinsulate, the Dog Town articles, Disco, Punk Rock, Regan shot, the Calgary Winter Olympics, The Republik (best 90’s alternative bar ever…period), Generation X, the Gap, The Vic 20, The Palm Pilot, The Think Pad, Trevor Peterson, Doug Coombs, Shane McConkey…in no particular order or significance, I’ve seen it all.  That is until yesterday when I skied 4983ft in one run, hit a maximum speed of 49.3 mph (sorry still not completely metricated), and reached the base under 4 minutes all according to Satski and the GPS function I’d never used on my phone.

I know there’s nothing (not much) out there that the millenniums, Generation Y, or as I like to call them, generation “i” (iPod, iPhone…you get the picture)…there isn’t much they haven’t loaded into their jail break iPhones and there’s not much new about GPS, or skiing 50mph down Solar for that matter, but for $20 I logged on to http://satsportsgps.com/satski/default.html  (Canada: http://www.satsportsgpscanada.com/ ) and loaded Satski on my HTC Touch Pro phone with Windows Mobile – also available for Android users – and became their first online customer in Canada to start 2010 ahead of the curve (sorry Generation ‘i’…windows first because they don’t require an i  store to get aps but yours is coming soon for just a few more Apple $’s).

I’m not sure what inspires me more:

1. It was $20

2. It’s on my phone.

3. I was going 50mph down Solar.

4. It was $20…did I mention that?

5. I skied Cruiser and Honey comb with my 5 year old, rode the Peak to Peak and paid for chocolate milk and snacks with my ski pass.

or 6. That any of this possible at all and not some Odyssey I dreamt up in the wake of the 2010 Olympic Dream while inhaling over a decade of second-hand ‘smoke’ in Whistler.  (Ya Ross’s Gold!)

or 7. That I am writing this in a Moleskine Journal with a mechanical pencil.

Somewhere near Brandywine on the drive down to Squamish that afternoon I clicked on the phone to call the shop and check my e-mail and messages on Facebook (it’s OK hands-free police, my wife was driving while I chowed down a local lunch from Ciao Thyme) and Satski told me we were cruising at 50 mph (that’s @80kpm like the speedo said) at an elevation I can’t remember and we had travelled some distance I can’t remember…because I didn’t remember to turn off Satski when we left Blackcomb.  Now can I say I’ve seen it all? 

Amazed, confused or taken for granted, GPS technology has landed on Main Street.  (Did I mention the download was $20!!)  Where GPS was once only reality to the realm of America’s Cup racers and geo-plate-techtonic beacons on Everest tracking its ascent to 9000 meters (yes, they have confirmed it is growing) and in more recent years a tech weenie select few with hiking coordinates, running chips in their shoes and ski vert versions of GPS strapped to their wrists – for several hundred dollars – Satski and it’s counterpart Satsports (I loaded that next courtesy of Rosie and the crew…a $9 download) are available now.  They have also assured me that Blackberry will be online shortly with iPhone to follow next. 

Now I’ve seen it all…and I’m not even going to get into how you can rent one and take advantage of a local number phone number while you vacation in Whistler or come to ski for the day, how you can rent a tag to track your kids on the mountain in real-time, or how you can replay your ski day and download it to Google earth…Ok, I did, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.  On top of the ski trail map and GPS, Satski is loaded with local info from where to eat to an emergency contact button that will dial the ski patrol number…and did I mention the download was $20.

It’s here people.  It’s here and it’s real and it works and it’s yours for the price of a trip to Starbucks or a beer and a burger at Splitz Grill.  I’ve just started using the software, but so far I’m obviously impressed.

As for 1969…

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