Troubling Trends: They’re Tracking You

The next phase in wearables traces everything you do on the mountain, so showing off is easier than ever

With bans on selfie sticks popping up at popular spots all around the world, it’s getting harder and harder to get the perfect shot of your own face and thus, dampening the onslaught of potential likes on your social media accounts.

But despite places like the Vatican, Disney World, and New York State saying “no” to the use of “narcis-sticks,” there is hope for you yet. Now there’s Trace, the latest and most advanced action sports tracker. Trace ($200) promises to help you jump higher, throw sharper turns, and log more vertical by tracking and storing all your stats in one place, from GPS mapping, to the number of runs, your speed, distance, calories burned, and time on the move. It even makes note of air time, jump height, and distance. Just mount it on your skis and go. With a 10-hour battery life, you can spend all day impressing yourself without draining your phone battery. (Don’t you just hate when your phone dies on the mountain, rendering you unable to live tweet your lines?)

But that’s not all. Not even close. Trace will also automatically clip and edit your video highlights when synced to your GoPro. Based on your stats, Trace does you a big favor and takes out the boring stuff and only keeps the good stuff. You’ll never have to waste time putting together your own edit like those suckers at film companies who are trained professionals who do that for a living and have years of experience and insight. With Trace, the only thing you have left to do is share your gift with the world. PLUS colors will “automatically pop!” Sharing couldn’t be easier.

And that’s the point right, to share it all? Not with the friends you skied with or the trees your slipped between or the silent, majestic peaks, but with the millions of strangers on the World Wide Web.

Gone are the days when dad would make you wait at the top of the hill so he could ski down 30 yards, fumble with his poles and gloves while attempting to uncap the camcorder before counting down your take off, narrating your pizza turns as you waved hello to Nana who will watch this spotty family vacation footage on her VHS two weeks later. Ain’t no body got time for that, dad. We need it now and that camcorder shit won’t cut it anymore. We need it bigger, brighter, bolder, better. We need Trace.

To remind you just how much you need it, Trace has signed surf icon Jordy Smith as an official partner.
“The technology and analytics of Trace are next level,” said Jordy in a press release. “It provides me with an accurate review of each surf session and the auto edit allows me to see where I am going wrong and how I can perfect my surfing. In my opinion, this is the next step in surfing progression.”

Okay, fair. The guy is a pro. Watching game day film is part of developing his competitive edge. You know who’s NOT a pro? The rest of us. The average Joe—or Jane—is not going over the play by play of his or her color corrected, statistically embedded backcountry highlight reel to improve athletic performance. Don’t kid yourself, kid. This is for Facebook and Instagram and your Tinder profile and likes and comments and shares and retweets and mad ups and big props.

But listen, I’m not mad about Trace. In fact, I think the creators tapped into some real genius here. These guys are probably going to get filthy rich because they understand that people love to love themselves, especially skiers. So while Kickstarter campaigns only have a 43 percent success rate, Trace used the site to crowd source more than $161,000 in one summer for their project. Their campaign slogan? “Trace makes action sports measurable, sharable, and comparable. Track, compete, and share.” (Read: here’s another way to prove you’re better than someone else).

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Marquee photo: YouTube/Trace