Samsung is launching into a new area of smart devices — surfboards. The Samsung Galaxy Surfboard, currently a prototype, syncs with the rider’s Galaxy S7 to display wave and wind conditions via twitter.
The idea behind the device is to break down the physical barrier a surfer has with their fans and coach. Samsung believes the solitary nature of the sport provides problems for riders that need a solution. To solve this communication “problem” the board will display twitter messages containing a predetermined hashtag on an LED screen.
“Unlike other sports, in professional surfing, the athletes are away from the fans from their country almost the entire year. Even during practice, surfers spend hours out at sea, while their coaches are on the shore. These distances are obstacles to the athletes’ evolution and motivation,” said Marcelo Reis, co-president of Leo Burnett Tailor Made, the company behind the concept.
Beyond the live twitter feed, the screen has selectable graphics for the rider to view. The graphics act as a live surf report displaying wind speed, wind direction, oncoming sets and more. While this sounds cool, it’s also information a surfer should be able to gather while they’re in the water … without the help of technology.
The prototype was tested by 2014 ASP World Tour champion Gabriel Medina. Shaper Johnny Cabianca crafted the board that includes a drawer for the Galaxy S7 to be inserted in. From here, the phone syncs with the board and weather conditions via a micro controller card.
Samsung failed to disclose important information regarding the stability of the device. Given how fragile phones and cases are, how prone will the LED display be to breaking? And how safe will the rider’s phone be inside of the sliding drawer when constantly submerged in water?
Surfing is an incredibly intense sport, which should go without saying. A board is repetitively slamming at high speeds (and sometimes high distances) into walls of water. But have a phone slip from the pocket and it’s shattered. What has Samsung done to prevent somebody from ending up with shards of a touchscreen lodging in their foot?
The device? Board? Phone? Whatever it is, is only a prototype and likely won’t see much use outside of tech conferences. One of the points behind surfing is the removal of oneself from the outside world, allowing for a personal connection with the ocean and their mind. Samsung might have missed the point, but perhaps the tech could prove useful in professional areas.