The technology we have developed over the past twelve months enables a live or archived race-view to be interactively presented to clients and users in a web-browser i.e. across the Internet. By bringing a new level of interaction to the user, there are opportunities to involve them much more than just providing video-feed with static web-pages. Only recently have supporting technologies converged to a point where we can achieve acceptable levels of performance. And things will only improve from here.
A brief summary of the main features of the TrackHawk application is as follows. Here we focus on the horse-racing aspects of the application, but we do plan to apply our product to all forms of circuit-racing.
- Internet enabled application running in a modern Browser [ medium broadband speed ]
- Replay of any archived races on demand
- In-depth graphical analysis available for every point throughout each race
- Provision for real-time playback when compatible data-capture hardware / software is installed at the track, with the option for user-diagnosis as soon as a race is archived
- We are currently working on extending the system to allow users to access a database of horse-profiles and run a simulated race of their choosing.
Up until now, Browser support for graphics has been quite limited. With Firefox leading the way with a snappy SVG implementation, graphics are well supported. The Gecko graphics engine has also helped with fast bitmap display.
Google has produced an excellent application illustrating the use of AJAX [ a technology that has been around a while but never really found a home ]. For the non-technical, this is a break from the traditional Internet model based on page-refresh. We can now make calls directly to the server to obtain data, much the same way as in a client-server situation.
Portable Internet Devices:
The ready availability of these devices [ Blackberry / Cell Phones ] means we have yet another opportunity to do something unique in the market place. In a sense, these devices have hit the market without a real killer application to drive the market. We may be able to fill that gap and provide the "killer application" for punters.
Broadband has opened up opportunities in many areas. For the TrackHawk application, it means we have greater possibilities to integrate existing technologies with our own e.g. Live-audio can be run in parallel with our application, or even video-feed if required.
At present, we have several hardware technologies under consideration. It is quite possible that we eventually provide several alternatives as appropriate in different environments. Without question, the state-of-the-art in electronic measurement allows us to capture data cost-effectively, either using GPS devices or dedicated transceivers.