VinnieFFirst, RFID wouldn't work at those ranges. I think the current maximum range with expensive equipment (not experimental) is a few hundred feet. With normal consumer equipment maybe a few dozen feet. There would have to be an active transmitter in the wristband.
how much battery power do you think a little wristband can have? a transmitter than can transmit a mile in poor weather in mountainous terrain reliably I don't think is something that can be put into a wristband. Maybe I'm wrong.
And even if it could be, the environmental damage from selling even an extra 1000 battery powered transmitters over 1 day at 1 resort is pretty huge. Not to mention the cost. I mean even the very cheapest transmitters capable of that could easily add 25% onto the price of a lift ticket.
As for bluetooth, that would mean active transmittance that's always on. Essentially a dumbed down smart watch. It's more possible, but would still cost a lot to implement and given many or most ski hills have shitty or non-existent cellphone reception then that makes the problem a little more difficult.
The Recco system is quite a bit more ingenious using reflectors that take no power at all. Really neato. Cheaper and easier to implement and was actually designed in the first place to put on lift tickets. If resorts actually cared enough/had enough money they could design and produce a Recco reflector that's actually small enough to be put on a lift ticket without it being cumbersome and implement that.
To sum up, the technology is there already for what you suggest. Just the number of in-bounds casualties is so incredibly low already for the amount of person hours on the hill that it's probably not considered to be worth the effort and wouldn't ever be implemented by at more than at most a handful of hills unless mandated.
Thanks for the response, and don't worry it's good to be harsh, that's exactly what I wanted - straight opinion.
My idea was to take one of those vivofit / fitbit bracelets but have some sort of plug in to charge it, like an iPhone for example. I realize it would cost more than the average lift ticket, which is why I was thinking that if you were to buy it yourself, it comes with a skitracks-type function, as well as the ability to pre-purchase day tickets/ act as a season's pass. This way you can avoid purchase lines, as well as be able to record your ski day without having to drain your phone battery.
I haven't looked into the whole tech side of things, as it's pretty much just a theoretical idea at the moment, but originally my idea revolved around it only being used when in distress - so it only emits a signal when you need it to. Then ski patrol would have some sort of command centre board with an alarm that tells them to head to a certain location, with coordinates. Once there, they use a more precise tracking device to home in on the signal.
Again, thanks so much for responding, really helps my project out! +k