Skateboarding is a sport that's hardly evolved in its 50-year history, until now. McCann Madrid has helped develop a unique new skating accessory that could change the game for even the most experienced skaters.
Syrmo is a deceptively simple device that can transform any old skateboard into a quite literal smart-board. It attaches simply, safely and cleanly to the bottom of the board (under the trucks) and uses electronic sensors to track the skater's movements.
The resultant information is then sent to an accompanying app, where the movements are traced in surprisingly in-depth 3D rendering, so riders can relive their own runs with all the minute details on display, including height, angles, air time, number (and quality) of tricks, fails, and more. These stats can then be shared on social media, where leaderboards can be formed, tricks can be analysed by friends and fellow skaters, and new routes can be sketched out for next time.
Riders are even able to turn their progress into a game by levelling up, smashing old records and more. It's like they decided to combine actual skateboarding with the classic Tony Hawks video games of yore and gave the results all the spit and polish of a modern social networking platform.
Syrmo – Kickass Skateboarding
Syrmo is a start-up company based in San Francisco and Buenos Aires that first started promoting the device through a Kickstarter campaign towards the end of 2014. The Syrmo team isn't the first to take a shot at bringing board sports into the modern age, of course, but the Syrmo is the first device that doesn't place any limits on the rider, because it's so unobtrusive.
It uses a tiny collection of accelerometers, gyroscopes and micro-controllers, as well as a Bluetooth 4.0 module, and is designed to replace the riser, a pad that some skateboarders will place underneath the trucks to make the board a little higher off the ground. Adding just 1 mm to the height of the board and weighing 50g, the company is confident riders won't notice a difference when riding with the device attached to their board.
“The only person you are competing against is yourself, and by tracking your progress you get a better feeling of fulfilment”
In order to promote Syrmo to the wider the skateboarding community, McCann Madrid and Syrmo organised “The Dark Side of Skateboarding” project. This was the world’s first skateboarding competition in the dark, and was judged 100% by Syrmo, who were the only ones who could actually see all the tricks in the pitch-black room. For the activation,four professional skaters with night vision glasses were competing in a skate park with no illumination whatsoever and the only ones that saw it all was Syrmo (and now us thanks to the video below).
The app recorded in 3D all the tricks the skaters performed, then, by analysing all the data collected, Syrmo acted as judge and determined the winner. It's the perfect way to show off the accuracy of the device, and the video is thrillingly intense.