The Ipad... it might be the PDA I've been looking for.

Timing System

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John Gilmour
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The Ipad... it might be the PDA I've been looking for.

Post by John Gilmour » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:39 am

One of the best things about Apple devices is that they are superseded so quickly by newer devices. (This means in 2 years an original iPad is worth about $125) The other great thing about apple devices.. is that they are also supported for a long time- and can endure many operating system upgrades.

So what is so cool about the Ipad?

You can network them to provide times at the top, bottom, and even a middle split time... at all points of the course.

Bright, touch oriented display.- Racers could quickly scroll to find their results.

Here is what I envision.... and mind you... I'm sure I'll get some naysayers... Just like when I talked about having slalom existing on multiple continents in 2000, and having timing systems, and multiple board, truck and wheel manufacturers. But.... for those skeptics... here's where we are going.

IMHO public slalom courses have suffered from several things.

1. Lack of funding
2. Unreliable timing systems or lack entirely thereof
3. No reliable way to track your progress or improvement.
4. No communication as to future events or reminders for participants ...ie a contact manager.
5. No "high score of the day"- where a top racer can get recognition for a fast run.

My solution?

A racer walks to the top of the course.

He has two choices... either
1. Swipe his credit card into a reader similar to the ones used for checkout at the apple store (an iPod touch integrated witha credit card swiper as a ipod touch case) . He automatically purchases 10 timed runs- and registers using his email address. (his run times are simultaneously emailed to him with a chart as to his progress. he can also compare his run times to others.

2. Navigate via bookmark to a purchase site. Enter his credit card manually using the iPad touch pad. (same to follow)

3. take all 10 runs in one day or save a few for next week.

4. If a special event is hosted... the racer gets an email telling him where it is.

5. Also if a racer is a top 20 in terms of times... if another racer approaches his time or passes it..he gets an email alert... (might tempt him to come and race more to get a faster time... to stave off challengers... or show up to defend a time that has him beaten. He will also get an email to show his rank change)

Similarly he could get a novice ranking... showing him how well he has done relative to other newbies.

6. When a racer wishes to take another run.. he can swipe his credit card.. it automatically recognizes him.

7. racers can update their city status, quiver, Pro/am via the website etc..

Also with a wifi hook up and perhaps a synch to the atomic clock... you might be able to use Iphones or ipod touches and tape switches as timing triggers. You would just need to have a wifi hot spot. That could be done with a Mifi or a battery powered airport express.

income produced from selling runs would support the racing site... pay for insurance etc..
One good turn deserves another
john gilmour

Pat Chewning
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Post by Pat Chewning » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:32 pm

Yes, we have these for ski racing already: Pay at the top of the course and take a run to get your time.... Time compared to the "standard" (NASTAR) time for the course.

But what about the cones? How to automatically count them and keep them from disappearing?

John Gilmour
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Post by John Gilmour » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:32 pm

All courses need to be manned... mostly for safety issues.. That way..a person manning a course might take a percentage of the profits up to say... $80 a day.

You want to cap the profits at some point or people might get too possessive over control of a particular course.

Also you want to make sure people doing this are compensated fairly, but also are doing it not just for the money.
One good turn deserves another
john gilmour

willy demis
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Re: The Ipad... it might be the PDA I've been looking for.

Post by willy demis » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:06 pm

John Gilmour wrote:You can network them to provide times at the top, bottom, and even a middle split time... at all points of the course.
Maybe I am missing something, but how does the ability to network them together somehow allow them to pull timing information from the racer? Even at $125 or whatever, I think you would:
1) Be hard-pressed to get anyone to carry that heavy thing in their back pocket (not that it would fit anyway)
2) Be hard-pressed to get the iPad owner to let someone carry it down the track in their pocket on fear that they may wreck and break the device.


...Now, I could definitely see something like this with the iPhone. It's smaller, easier for the rider to carry, a lot of people have one (I don't, haha), and as a phone- it's more likely someone may already have one in their pocket to begin with.

At least I assume that's what you were implying. Otherwise- I'm not sure how you make this feature work...

John Gilmour
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Post by John Gilmour » Sat May 01, 2010 8:47 pm

The iPad is only better than the iphone as a display.

Ideally the software could run on the ipad, ipod touch, and iphone.

The 3 pin connector would connect to a tape switch adapter box.

The iPad could be used anywhere in the course..

Lets imagine being able to multi-task on the software...

So a spectator could be looking at the clock with it showing the time in one corner...and info on the racer on the rest of the display.

After the run is complete... the time would log into the timing spread sheet and then... that sheet would show until the next racer came down the course and started the new timing overlay.

The Ipad has enough display real estate to display multiple racers times... the iphone and iPod touch would be more limited.

Certainly at the top of the course.. all that is needed is an ipod touch and card scanner to establish your course credit.

Also..... in a scenario of racers racing head to head.. beeps and possibly a visual start tree display could be integrated with the iphone or ipod touch...certainly the start tree would be better with the Ipad.

If you are too look at some existing iPad apps...to draw upon... when it comes to bracketing... look at shot from this courtside NBA app

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49789203@N04/4568109155/

touch on a bracket and you get all the info for that bracket..
One good turn deserves another
john gilmour

willy demis
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Post by willy demis » Sat May 01, 2010 8:53 pm

Ah, I see- the device would hook to the timing strips. I thought you meant that it would be carried by the racers... This is an interesting idea!

John Gilmour
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Also those Kindles

Post by John Gilmour » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:28 am

Amazon kindles are cheap and easy to read in bright sunlight with tremendous battery life. They will only get cheaper as time goes on.


We just need someone to re-write the firmware/software on these units to repurpose the hardware for racing.
One good turn deserves another
john gilmour

Marcos Soulsby-Monroy
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Cool little app

Post by Marcos Soulsby-Monroy » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:55 am

As Luck would have it . . .

Image

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