Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Predict Wind Tracker

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android Devices too!
Function: Real time sailboat tracking and playback
Rating: ****
Cost: Free for one week trial, $3.00 for 3 months tracking.

Jon Bilger and his Predict Wind team have been busy and have recently introduced an update to the Tracker App for the sailboat racing crowd. 

The Tracker App is designed to record the GPS tracks of all entries in a sailboat race. The participants and spectators can then see their progress and tracks on a Google map in real time.  Each participant must have the app running on their Android or iPhone.  The app records the track position data and sends it via the cell connection back to the Predict Wind Tracker site.

The data can then be viewed in real time or after the fact using the app or website.

This app can be used for other activities in addition to sailing. If your a biker, hiker, runner or kayaker and want to record your track it will do that too. So it is not just limited to sailing.

The app provides the contestants and spectators a fun and easy way to track and participate in the action.

Features:
  • Record the track of your sailboat in personal tracking mode
  • Record tracks of all sailors in a sailboat race
  • Races can be set up in Division, Heats and Classes
  • Spectators can view tracks of all boat in a race
  • Search for specific boats by name
  • Replay a race to improve your strategy and tactics
  • Race committee boats can track boat in real time.
  • You can also setup your own personal tracking, and share a web link with friends to watch your progress in real time.
  • Google Maps tracking
  • Event organizers can monitor the progress of race participants
To view a sample race please go to this test link http://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/race/nzmyc. It appears to be a race in New Zealand.  To get your yacht club registered simply email the company at support@predictwind.com. They do require that you have a Yacht Club website so you can promote the use of the Tracker and Predict Wind apps.

The Tracker app has a free one week trial to record your GPS tracking data. After the trial period you can make an in-app purchase which will cost you $3.  This provides you unlimited tracking in any race for a 3 months period. 


Racers Instructions:

The app is very easy to use. All you have to do is make a few selections within the app and your on the way to recording your track. Open up the app and first select your Yacht Club, Race, and Division. Then enter the name of your Boat. The race and division data should be provided by your race officials.

The Race and Divisions are set up by the yacht club race administrator on the Predict Wind Tracker website.  Multiple divisions, heats and races can be set up for a regatta. Various other timing settings and track record update rates are set here too.

On the day of the race all you have to do is take your phone with you on the boat.  Prior to the start of the race make sure you have the correct race and division selected and then turn "Tracking On".

Track recording takes a lot of battery power so make sure your battery is fully charged.  To conserve battery life make sure to turn off both WiFi and Bluetooth. Turn off any other apps that may be running in the background by tapping the home button twice and holding your finger on an app icon until it starts wiggling. Select the - sign on the app to turn them off.

The data usage for the App is approximately 1 MB for a race day.  Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. Once the race it done make sure to turn Tracking OFF.

For more detailed instructions please visit www.predictwind.com/tracker

Spectator Instructions:

The unique thing about this app is that it gets spectators involved in the racing action.  Although sailboat racing can be about as boring as watching golf, this is one way to make it a little more fun. Viewing of all race data is free to the spectators. Open the App and select your Yacht Club and Race.

Click on the button "View Tracking" to see the race data.  On the map view select the proper Division to see all the tracks in real-time.  The slider at the bottom of the screen can be used to replay the race or move to any point in the race.
A handy search box is supplied to find the position and track of a friends boat or locate their most recent track update.

This app can only help improve the interest in sailing.  Spectators can now feel like they are part of the racing
action. They now have the ability to watch and track the positions and progress of all boats in real time.


Personal Tracking:

If your not in a race but just want to record your GPS tracking data you can do this with personal tracking. In the Yacht Club selection select the Personal Tracking option. This will allow your to record your tracks if your out for just an afternoon sail.

In the View Tracking map screen you can then select the Share option on the top menu bar to view a link of your recorded track. One feature that would be nice is the ability to automatically email or post this link to Facebook or Twitter. Perhaps this could be added in future updates

The Tracker app seems to work great.  I have used it a few time while out sailing and it is easy to use. Just make a few selections, turn it on and forget it until you return.  You can then view your tracks within the app or on a PC through your Predict Wind account.

I am the Commodore of  our local yacht club and will be testing this with some of our sailors in future races.  I am excited about getting spectators involved in watching the race action in real time or after the fact.

The Predict Wind Tracker app is truly unique. It is well worth the $3 buck to have the ability to track your self and others without some costly and sophisticated GPS tracking hardware.

~~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)  
Mark













1 comment:

  1. GPS Tracking System - SENSERI GPS Units available now. Just as ideal for smaller fleets as it is for muti national companies - call now for instant response

    ReplyDelete