by Dave Anderson
September 10, 2013
News just in… It’s like Tron, but for mountain bikers
ReTrack your ride
New UK startup seeks crowdfunding for innovative gadget that replays your ride as a 3D animation on your smartphone
ReTrack is a cunning new ride tracking and replay gadget invented by mountain biker (and, handily, satellite control software engineer) Simon Fowler. He wanted a way to replay his rides that gave more depth than a GPS trace but without the hassle of editing stacks of helmet camera footage.
ReTrack works in an entirely different way from conventional trackers. The ReTrack sensor sits on your helmet and contains high-resolution inertial sensors to track your movements – how far you’re leaning, the angle at which you’re climbing or descending, lateral acceleration and so on. The sensor communicates over Bluetooth with your smartphone for GPS data and storage.
Once you’ve finished riding, all the information can be uploaded to ReTrack’s server, where a set of unique algorithms builds a complete virtual representation of your ride that can be viewed from any angle. ReTrack will automatically create a highlights package for you, showing your ride as if from fixed cameras by the trail, tracking cameras alongside and even helicopter views. If you wanted to make a video with that kind of variety, you’d need a full film crew, loads of kit and about a week. With ReTrack, you just need to push a couple of buttons.
Over the last two years, ReTrack has been developed into a working prototype, proving that the technology works. Patents are pending, and the next step is to move it to a final, production-ready state. That’ll need six months and the support of other mountain bikers – ReTrack is using crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise the cash. The main reward on offer is one of the first batch of production sensors, at prices from £99 – a significant discount on the retail price. That includes free lifetime access to the service and apps, with sensors being delivered early in 2014.