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.

Developed over a a period of a decade for motorcycle racing, the D-Air intelligent clothing system is now heading to market in two versions – one for racing and one designed for street riding.

The system packs in three accelerometers, three gyroscopes, a GPS and a 2 gigabyte internal memory and without any physical connection to the motorcycle, it can deploy a high-pressure airbag around the rider in just 45 milliseconds when crash conditions are detected. This detection capability is the key to the system – it can differentiate between an imminent fall and normal riding, but to transfer the technology to skiing, an entirely new set of data needs to be collected and the triggering algorithm reworked.

The research project began in 2010 and will continue for the next two years.

"The new partnership with Dainese is the latest step in the FIS Injury Surveillance System which began five years ago," said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. "It benefits from the findings and data collected during the last four seasons and ideally complements the other current projects underway at the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center and the University of Salzburg."