New features for 2017
- September 25, 2016
During 2016 we have been listening hard to your needs, and have been adding some new features which we think you'll really like...
Our YB trackers can now be set to take a GPS fix every X minutes, and transmit several positions at once. It uses up a little more battery power, but in some cases it can allow us to give you more accurate track history for the same price as before. For example, the trackers in a yacht race could be set to take a fix every 5 minutes, and transmit 3 positions every 15!
It gives much greater definition for races, especially for adventure races, treks, and yacht races where mark roundings are important!
Auto Finish Times
Previously, trackers were set to transmit every X minutes, and they simply did this throughout the entire race. Lots of customers have asked us whether they could have transmissions at set points of their race.
We have implemented your suggestion, and this new feature is called 'Polyfencing'. It allows us to give the trackers preset co-ordinates (or lines) on which they must transmit. For example, they can be set to transmit on the finish line, and we can then automatically complete the finish time for you - this can often save a lot of time and money for race organisers, who used to have teams of people watching a finish line 24/7 and recording the times manually.
It also allows for accurate mark rounding times on yacht races, virtual timing checkpoints on adventure races, and much more!
As our rental fleet gradually gets renewed, more and more of our devices are Bluetooth capable. This allows them to be used for simple two-way text messaging, using the YB Connect app on a smartphone/tablet. For example in the month long ARC rally, more than 250 yachts are equipped with YB3 units, and use them to tweet, post to facebook, and communicate with friends and family back at home. The Chicago Mackinac yacht race also uses the twitter posting ability to add to the 'story' of the race, and provide more engagement for those back at home who are following.
Ask us about whether this is right for your race, and how you might be able to use it!
Whilst we never wish to reduce our level of customer service during a race, we realised that we were actually getting in the way and slowing you down sometimes. Having to ask us to change spellings of team members, names of boats, or changing handicaps or groupings was crazy. We've built a new race management system, which you get a login to once the race is setup, and all of those little administrative things can be changed instantly - no need to email us any more. This is especially helpful for customers in significantly different timezones.
Believe it or not, although our core business is yacht racing, our very first event was actually an adventure race in Scotland. Since then we've covered adventure races across the world, and haven't really paid much attention to improving our race viewer for these. Now we have.
We have introduced a new elevation profile system, allowing us to plot the elevation of the course across the bottom of the viewer, and showing the position of all the teams along the course. It also allows us to calculate the distance to finish for each team on a constant basis, and leaderboard adventure races accurately as well. Coupled with the polyfencing system, we can create virtual timing gates, giving precise times as teams get to key peaks or mountain passes.
And all of this information can also be fed to third party systems using our API - so if you have an existing race timing system, you can continue using that and simply add our extra data to it! Ask us for more information.
Shipping is the biggest challenge in our business, with trackers going all over the globe. We pay for the shipping TO your event, and also back FROM your event. All our flight cases are sent with pre-paid return UPS labels. This means you simply stick the label to the box, call UPS, and they will come and pick up the boxes free of charge.
Using a single shipping company like UPS also helps us with Customs, allowing faster shipments and fewer admin problems for everyone.
All of these suggestions have come from our customers over the last 18 months - if there is something you think we're missing, or could improve upon, please let us know - we're listening!