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Old 05-09-2011, 07:58 AM   #825
Scott Whitney
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Joined: Nov 2003
Location: SoCal USA
Oddometer: 2,786
Originally Posted by ArthDuro View Post
Hogwild is proposing a device with some serious thought put into it. Would you guys ignore a rally because it doesn't use paper, eventhough the notes are paced?
I have mixed feelings about paper vs digital display. For sure if it was a digital display, I would want it to show only the same info as is on the paper now, and in the same basic format. No maps, no colored line to follow, no corridor displayed, etc.

The advantage of being all digital is you would not have to tape sheets together, fight installing it in the wind, tape it back together when it rips, etc. But with digital, it’s a bit trickier to mark it up with colored markers. Maybe everyone would have to have an iPad in the bivouac, and do all your markups on that, then download it via WiFi to the unit on your bike. Last minute course changes could be WiFi downloaded to your unit by the race organization, in the bivouac, or even on the race course as you pass by a checkpoint. For big teams trying to gain an advantage by mapping out the course ahead of time using the digital data, we already know it’s possible to map the Dakar course, even without the roadbook! And it’s easy to secure the raw digital data so it’s can’t be easily used outside the intended machines. How hard is it to snap photos of the paper roadbook pages, and email them to a team of Google Earth nuts?

The advantage of paper is when it takes a shit, you can repair it with scotch tape. When electronics takes a shit, you’re up shit creek! And I would expect a large screen fully electronic roadbook device to be double or triple the cost of even an MD roadbook reader.

For now I’m not interested in building a device that replaces the paper roadbooks. The audio course notes I’m working on are more for Baja 1000 type racing, not rally racing. There are other audio features that might be great for rally, such as “car approaching quickly from behind”, or for dusty conditions especially in cars “vehicle ahead, 10 ………... 5 ….. 4 …. 3 ….. 2 ….. 1”. A big part of what I’m aiming for is to help racers avoid running over or into other racers where visibility is a problem. This would apply to both Dakar and Baja 1000, for cars and motos. And by throwing in some other attractive features, I think I can make something that is worth the time and $ investment.
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