It looks like Apple wants to do for incline-base sports (Skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking etc) what it did for running with the Nike+iPod product.
According to a recent patent application that our friends at Push.ca have been commenting on, Apple has plans to build a sensor array that could mount onto a snowboard, or beneath the binding area on a downhill ski, or onto a mountain bike, which would record all aspects of your performance including air time – the number of seconds you remain airborne.
Assuming that this device would work in the same way as the Nike+ product, the skier/boarder/biker would carry a compatible iPod with them which would record all of the incoming data.
At the end of the day, or even the end of a run, you could evaluate all aspects of your activity. Most of the time this would presumably help in attaining training goals, but Apple is quick to point out that it's also about the bragging rights:
For example, suppose two users ski only blue, intermediate slopes with the exact same skill and aggressiveness except that one user chooses to sit in the bar for three hours having a couple of cocktails. At the end of an eight hour day–providing the power sensor is activated for the whole day–the skier who skied all eight hours will have a power measurement that is 8/5 that of his cocktail-drinking companion. They can thereafter quantitatively talk about how easy or how difficult their ski day was. As for another example, suppose a third friend skis only double-diamond slopes and he takes four hours out to drink beer. At the end of the day, his power measure may still be greater than his friends depending upon how hard he skied during his active time. He could therefore boast–with quantitative power data to back him up–that he had more exercise than either of his friends even though he was drinking half the day.
Okay, not exactly the kind of technical language you'd expect in a patent filing, but it's certainly proof that Apple isn't blind to appeal such a product might have for those looking to prove a point.