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May 28, 2006

Ever so slowly, the Indianapolis 500 becomes more compelling


Today's running of the race features split-screen technology that lets me watch the race M.O.S. (mit out sound, as they say in Hollywood) during commercials.

A big step forward.

And since I always mute the sound during commercials anyway, it's all good and even better.

There's also a ton of on-board information being shown via telemetry onscreen, stuff like an individual car's MPH, RPM, throttle, steering and G-force.

We're on lap 121 of 200 as I type these words at 3:01 p.m.: air temperature in Indianapolis is a record 96°F and temperature down on the track is over 120° according to the announcers.

I don't want to think about the temperature inside the racing suits and helmets of the drivers.

But I will say that my internal debate about whether or not to bag my puny 30-minute run today because it's over 90° outside is over — I mean, I get to wear T-shirt and shorts, for crying out loud.

As soon as the race is over and winner drinks from his/her (Danica Patrick's running sixth at the moment) bottle of milk and says, "I'm going to Disney World!," I'm outa here and out onto the road.

But I digress.

Putting lipstick cameras behind the heads of the race car drivers was a major leap in the right direction.

The next step is a much bigger one but it will be absolutely mega: namely, letting the viewer at home put on a completely enclosed helmet or pair of sound-enabled goggles, pay $50 or $100 or whatever the market will bear, and be connected directly to sensors and cameras in the driver's helmet (your choice of driver, of course) and actually watch and hear the race just as the driver's seeing it.

I'd pay a lot to do that and I guarantee you there are plenty of people like me around the world.

A ton of money to the company that brings immersive videogame technology to the real world.

That's a mashup to conjure with.

Today they're offering something called "IRL Racecast."

For $9.95 you get to watch the race on your computer screen from the point of view of your favorite driver's lipstick camera, etc.

Closer... but not close enough.


May 28, 2006 at 03:07 PM | Permalink


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Danika only got 8th...

And I *STILL* can't hear out of my left ear after sitting beside turn 2 for most of the race...got to see one incredible crash a few laps in...

Joe, if you are ever in Indy on a Memorial Day weekend, I'll front the $5 I usually have to scam to get you into the race (screw the sitting in the stands crap -- you want to be out with the real people and that includes haggling with the guy probably selling you fake tickets walking in).

Posted by: clifyt | May 28, 2006 6:01:33 PM

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