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Electronic Ski Binding
Development Program: Electronic
Ski Binding Company
in alpine skiing depends, in large part, on the mechanical
releasable ski binding, which releases when the applied force
on the bone exceeds a preset threshold. In reality, however,
bones do not break based only on the amount of force applied,
but on the amount of energy absorbed (i.e. force acting over
For example, racers legs commonly experience
extremely high forces, but for very short periods of time.
Thus, even though the time is too short for the bone to break,
a racer can easily pre-release a standard force-based binding.
Conversely, beginners exert very low forces,
but they tend to fall in a slow and twisting manner. This
low force acting over a long period of time can exceed the
force and time threshold, leading to a broken bone with a
There was clearly a need for a binding based
on an energy threshold rather than a force threshold.
DCI developed the Electronic Ski Binding, an energy-based
system that continuously integrated the force over time and
compared the value to a preset safety threshold. Extensive
analyses and field tests accompanied the effort, and prototype
bindings were demonstrated at numerous ski industry trade
shows. The new technology virtually eliminated pre-release
and non-release situations.
Marker has always been known in the ski industry for its safety
ski bindings. DCI helped Marker to raise its reputation by
another notch with the development of the first Electronic
Ski Binding. The marketing effort that surrounded the development
of the technology increased Markers mechanical binding
sales and captured the attention of the West German government,
which led to significant grants to assist with the development.
Development work continued long after the
initial work was completed, and many of DCIs innovations
were incorporated into Markers mechanical ski binding