Live. Create. Launch. Resident Application
My name is Katie Hensien and I am currently a Senior at Rowland Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am a member of Rowmark Ski Academy and am a member of the US Ski Team.
I have applied to the University of Utah and am interested in becoming a Product Planner/Designer and would like to actively research and prototype while I obtain my undergraduate degree. I also plan to continue competitively ski racing at the highest level throughout my college years.
What I want to do!
Leverage the latest in Material Design, IOT and Machine Learning to design and build the most intelligent and comfortable high performance ski boot possible.
My most important assets are my feet. When they aren’t feeling well, my entire body is thrown out of whack and I don’t perform well on the hill.
Dr. Kirby in his article on CPMA agrees saying, “Healthy feet and ankles, which act together as accelerators, steering, brakes, and shock absorbers in winter sports, are not only crucial to success in competition, but also help keep the body upright and out of the emergency room.”
When I am on the hill, I find myself constantly changing the fit of my boots to optimize comfort and performance. I “Click Click” at the end of every run to loosen the boots to make my feet comfortable as I ride up the hill on the lift. I “Click Click” to tighten my boots after getting off the chair at the top of the lift to tighten my boots so that I can ski my best as I run a course.
All skiers and the sport will benefit from an intelligent and comfortable ski boot to make days on the hill the best they can be!
The Inspiration: Thanks Tinker
The idea came to me as I watched The Art of Design on Netflix. Tinker Hatfield, Nike Shoe Designer, was sharing his experiences as a Consumer Goods Material Designer. One of his most famous designs were the self lacing shoes that Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) wore in the Movie Back to the Future. Nike Innovation Labs was actively prototyping and developing concepts for shoes. Why not apply some of the same principles to Ski Boot Design and Fit but add in self adjustment through the use of IOT & Machine Learning?
Phase 1 – Comfortable Boots All Day Long
To prototype and develop a machine learning/self adjusting ski boot that loosens when you get on the lift/to the bottom of the hill and tightens as you get ready to ski a run.
Phase 2 – Ski Boot Performance Optimization
To prototype and develop a ski boot that adjusts as you ski to optimize your skiing experience in race conditions focusing on maximizing speed and clean carving through adjusting canting, flex, and fit.
Key Potential Partnerships
I have identified and begun establishing connections with companies and individuals who are interested in this business space and would work to bring these talented groups together to support my research and prototyping.
Microsoft IOT Sport Sensors Project Sara Spalding, Sr. Director & Patty Ryan, Principal Data and Applied Scientist
Nike Innovation Kitchen Hyper Adapt Project Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator
Technica Women 2 Women Project Leslie Baker-Brown, marketing director & Keely Kelleher, Founder Keely’s Ski Camp for Girls & Participant
The Data Guild Cameron Turner, Founder
University of Utah Alpine Ski Team Jake Korencan, Head Alpine Coach
Park City Boot Room Matt Schiller, Owner & Master Boot Fitter