The 2019-2020 ski season offers a greater variety for knee and low back pain relief than ever before! This year, there are three ski exoskeletons that are available to purchase or rent in addition to a fourth new entry into this growing market space. Between the four developers of the Ski~Mojo, Againer, Elevate, and Xnowers, those willing to try a wearable have more access to ski exoskeletons versus any prior year. (A choice that many skiers have not been able to make as multiple ski resorts have shut down due to COVID-19)
According to the websites of each exoskeleton developer, their devices in the 2019-2020 ski season can be found in:
- The Ski~Mojo by Kinetic Innovation can be purchased from their main website (link), was available for trial at five different locations, and could also be purchased at 19 brick and mortar stores.
- The Againer-System by Againer-Ski can also be purchased from the developer’s website (link), and was carried by 27 stores and distributors around the globe.
- The Elevate by Roam Robotics was available to try out at 6 different locations across 5 states in the U.S. (link) and is available for pre-order on their website.
- The Xnowers by Levier is still being internally tested but is expected to be made available to a wider audience by the next snow season. (link)
Tracking the number of ski exoskeletons and the number of physical locations where they may be available for rent or purchase provides an unprecedented look into consumer exoskeletons. At this point, the ExR team counts these eight companies as engaged in developing consumer exoskeletons (see directory) with the full expectation that the list will continue to grow.
It is difficult to track exoskeleton proliferation. Military exo development and evaluation is secretive, with most of the information residing outside of the public domain. Numbers of industrial and medical exoskeletons are readily available from the publicly traded exo companies, but they supply only a fraction of all the wearables in use. In comparison, the total number of consumer exoskeletons is still fewer in numbers but are offered directly to the potential end-users.
“How do we make the most good?” – asks Tim Swift, CEO of Roam Robotics during an interview for the Exoskeleton Report. “The most good happens when you touch the most people. And the first place that you can do that is you can reach people at a consumer scale that you can’t in other markets.”
By working on consumer exoskeletons, Tim Swift believes that the company can reach more people. Roam Robotics estimates the U.S. Ski market alone is 10 million avid skiers with another 30-40 million international. “There is a scale there I can’t believe you can touch…” Consumer exoskeletons, Tim Swift continues, allow for the rapid testing of wearables by the end-users unlike any of the other exo technology markets. Historically, the attention on exoskeletons has been on the military, medical and industrial applications, but clearly the consumer exoskeleton sub-field should not be ignored.
While there are some major differences between each of the four ski exoskeletons, their goal is to reduce pain and fatigue and to allow skiers to stay on the slopes for longer (and potentially safer too). For more information on this type of wearables, please refer to our article: The Allure of Ski Exoskeletons (2018).