In 2016, PIEPS was the first to introduce an avalanche transceiver with Bluetooth connectivity and its own in-house application for easy software updates. Gone were the days of taking your device back to the retailer or sending it away to the manufacturer for updates – you could now update your device yourself. A happy by-product of this development was greater moisture proofing of the transceivers, as they no longer required a cable port.
The PIEPS app has since evolved and now serves as the control centre for both updates and settings adjustments. And not just for avalanche transceivers either, but for the PIEPS iProbe electronic probe and the PIEPS Jetforce avalanche airbag backpack too.
Customers simply register the purchase date and serial number of their avalanche safety equipment, and the app will show when their device is due for a service, how long their warranty period is, and they will be sent email notifications about software updates and the latest product news.
The PIEPS app also has a range of other features that will appeal to various user groups. Here’s an overview of the main menu options and different functions:
1. Device Manager
This is the main area for product registration, software updates and changes to device settings via Bluetooth. Device-specific functions are quick and easy to configure using the app:
- For the PIEPS POWDER BT and PIEPS PRO BT, for example, you can activate the admin lock function for rental devices, or switch battery type to alkaline or lithium, or adjust the Auto-Search-to-Send period from 60 to 90 or 120 seconds.
- You can also activate the PIEPS iProbe support feature, that enables an iProbe to function as the off switch for your beacon.
- Additional functions like analogue mode, detailed scan mode or back-up mode are only available with the professional PIEPS PRO BT device. Comprehensive device self-tests can also be run via the app.
2. Fleet Manager
The Fleet Manager provides essential support for mountain training schools, organisations and agencies. Multiple devices can be registered via the app and configured in the same way, at the same time – and if required, even in such a way that it is impossible for individuals to adjust settings on their device. For quality assurance purposes, a PDF certificate can be generated for each individual device after it has passed inspection.
The practical knowledge menu option is where users can work their way through 3 competence levels (A to C) and find important technical and practical advice on avalanche search and rescue techniques: from understanding flux lines to shovelling, everything is depicted in easy-to-understand words and images.
The scenario option is where users can find ready-made incident scenarios to practice on i.e., how to bury the device for training purposes. In these scenarios the transceiver is switched to training mode and you can select which antenna is used for transmission. Instructors can use this part of the app as a quick and easy means of running through some realistic rescue situations.
The last menu option is used for remotely controlling a professional PIEPS ART (Avalanche Rescue Training) station. Mobile versions of these stations are used by training organizations, or they can be permanently installed on-site.
4. Further features
Account is where personal details are kept, and newsletter subscription preferences are managed. For help, head to the about section, and log out is for signing out.
ps.: The PIEPS app is also compatible with Black Diamond transceivers and avalanche airbag backpacks that use PIEPS technology.