In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.
Hitting the slopes means ditching your phone for a few hours, or risking losing it while bombing down the mountain. More troubling than an AWOL handset, though, is getting yourself lost in the backcountry sans smartphone while searching for fresh powder. An intrepid skier / software coder is well aware of this, and he's taken to Kickstarter to fund the Neva ski poles, which keep you safe and connected by wirelessly communicating with the Android or iPhone in your pocket. Incoming calls and text messages pop up on the built-in OLED display, and a finger swipe lets you answer the phone without lifting your gaze from the path ahead, as long as you've managed to mod your mitts accordingly. It's on you to decide which calls are really so pressing they need to be taken on your downhill runs -- though, to do so, you'll probably want to buy one of those Bluetooth-enabled jackets. The poles also display temperature, time and elevation, and the related smartphone app lets you toggle features such as calculating your slope angle and tracking your route.
As far as Kickstarter pledge rewards go, the Neva project is quite generous. The base $1 donation gets you early access to the smartphone app, while stepping up to $120 earns you a pair of 7075 aluminum poles (only one is data-enabled), the app for Android or iPhone and a vinyl Neva decal. Of course, you could always shell out $2,500 or more and get a reseller pack of 25 Neva ski pole sets. While those are enticing offers for backers, the project has raised just $851 of its requested $100k -- and there are only 26 days left. Hit up the source link to donate, and check out the video past the break for a look at the poles in action.