We've been following the development of the Dainese D-Air Ski
for just over three years, and the company has now revealed a near-competition-ready prototype to the world. Using a clever array of sensors, the protective ski garment detects a crash and rapidly inflates around the skier's upper body to protect from injury on the way down.
Besides continuing to produce its high-end protective body armor, Dainese has also spent the last several years developing something else – a wearable airbag system for motorcyclists
. A couple of years ago, the Italian company announced that it had entered into a partnership with the International Ski Federation, to adapt that system for use by downhill ski racers
. Now, Dainese has announced that it is fine-tuning the ski system, for use in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Dainese has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Ski Federation (FIS) to bring its D-Air wearable airbag technology
to Alpine slopes. The project is currently in early stages of testing where the dynamics of ski racing are being investigated in order to tailor the existing motorcycle-specific technology to the needs of ski racers.
More than 10 years in the making, the Dainese D-Air Racing system is a new type of rider protection technology that uses a series of accelerometers and electronically operated rate gyros to deploy an airbag mounted in the aerodynamic hump of a leather racing suit when things go wrong on the racetrack. Taking only 40 milliseconds to trigger, the system provides protection for the neck, shoulder and collarbone, cushioning the falling rider before they hit the ground. Airbags have recently appeared into the world of motorcycles with examples like Honda’s airbag-equipped Goldwing and ripcord-operated inflating jackets from Motoair and Hit-Air. The difference with the Dainese system - which is currently aimed specifically at the racing environment - is that it does not require any connection to the motorcycle, kicking-in during front low-side, back lowside or high-side falls.
May 25, 2007 In a move that could spell the end of meditative "zen" motorcycling, Dainese is looking for beta testers for their D-Nect helmet to helmet communication system, which allows riders and pillions as far as 400m apart to converse with each other on group rides. A limited number of purchasers of the new Airstream Course Infinity helmet, which features the innovative bluetooth/short range radio communication system, will be able to have direct input into the development of the system - and Dainese will shout all beta testers a bluetooth mobile phone for their assistance.