About this project
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We know the feeling of getting barreled, landing a new trick or charging down a mountain will never change. This feeling keeps us coming back day after day.
But what if there was a way to enhance our experience, learn more about our sessions, and share our stoke with the people we surf, skate, ski, and snowboard with?
Trace makes action sports measurable, sharable, and comparable.
Trace is a small, light, and durable, yet incredibly advanced piece of action sports technology.
It combines the most advanced inertial sensors and GPS technology to give you detailed information about every session you have.
Trace can identify a tre-flip down 10 stairs, detail every turn on a 100-yard Rincon right, and measure a backflip off a 20-foot kicker at Mammoth.
And it works equally well on surfboards, skateboards, snowboards & skis.
Our team has it.
There are very few people on the planet who know more about GPS and inertial sensors than Dr. Lokshin. As a result, our flagship product, AlpineReplay, has become the largest network of skiers and snowboarders on the web.
- 43 Countries
- 1400+ Resorts
- 460,000 Ski days
- 5.1 Billion feet of Vert
- 2.5 Million Jumps
Our algorithms to calculate speed, distance, jump height, and rotation are down to a science.
And when you’re done on the mountain, you press a button on your phone, it gives you all your stats, and sends out a “#SESSIONSHEET” to all your friends.
With the app’s leaderboards you can compare your performance against your friends or anyone else in the world. Since then, AlpineReplay has become the largest social network of skiers and snowboarders in the world.
Trace comes with three free apps for surf, skate, and snow on iOS and Android.
These three mobile apps, will be AVAILABLE FOR FREE ON BOTH iOS AND ANDROID when Trace is released. These apps will be your stats & social portal. This is where you’ll go to see how you did, your stats, and how other people are doing all around you.
Trace will identify your tricks, track your speed, map out your lines, and more.
Trace is the first piece of technology that can correctly and automatically identify skate tricks as you do them. But what if the trick was landed poorly? What if the board didn’t rotate all the way around? What if it over-rotated? Trace will tell you that too. We’ve established an initial set of identifiable tricks like ollies, nollies, kickflips, 360 flips, impossibles, and more.
And as we mentioned earlier, this trick set will only get bigger. As skaters start to use it, we’ll be able to identify more and more tricks.
- How many kickflips did you land?
- How many tre flips?
- How fast did you go?
- How high was that ollie?
- How well are you landing your tricks?
- Trace is able to tell you all that and more.
You'll also be able to see how you compare against other skaters at your favorite spots through the app's Leaderboards. Explore parks and spots all over the world to see what people are pulling on a daily basis.
Trace will identify where you’re surfing, the waves you caught, speed, airs, turns, and more.
For surfers, Trace is the first piece of technology that can record everything about your surf session. From the moment you paddle out, Trace is collecting data. Every time you catch a wave, Trace calculates your max speed, average speed, length of wave in both time and distance. If you boost an air, Trace measures how high you got, how long you were in the air and distance traveled.
- How long were your rides?
- How fast did you go?
- How big were your airs?
- How sharp were you turns?
- How many Calories did you burn?
- Trace is able to tell you all that and more.
You'll also be able to see how you compare against other people surfing the same breaks as you. Who caught the best waves today, this week, this year? Trace knows.
Before you decide where to paddle out, use the Explore function to see where other surfers are logging the best rides.
Trace identifies your resort, lifts, and trails, as well as your speed, vert, air, and more.
For skiers and snowboarders, Trace takes AlpineReplay to the next level. All of your data will now have sub-second level of accuracy. In addition to max speed, vertical distance, distance traveled, Calories, number of jumps, and airtime, Trace will also be able to identify tricks like 360s, backflips, and more. And, of course, Trace won’t drain your phone’s battery.
For those who haven’t used AlpineReplay, Trace will tell you which lifts and trails you’ve ridden, along with your speed, vertical, calories, distance, airtime, tricks and more.
You can share your #SESSIONSHEETS with friends, compare and compete with others on the mountain, and explore your days with beautiful, full-screened maps.
- How many runs did you take?
- How much vert did you log?
- How many 360s did you land?
- How high/far were your airs?
- Trace is able to tell you all that and more.
Live Leaderboards for the day, resort, or season are some of more popular features of AlpineReplay. See what's going on at other resorts around you — who's logging the most vert and the biggest airs? Trace knows.
Trace consists of two parts: the data collection pod and the mount. Attach the mount to any hard surface like a board or helmet. Slide Trace in. Push a button and go. That’s it. It’s that simple.
When you’re done with your session, Trace will connect with your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 and send the data to ActiveReplay servers for processing. Within seconds you’ll be able to see all of your data, beautifully laid out and easy to read on your phone. You’ll have options to share your #SESSIONSHEETS on Facebook and Twitter, and compare your performance on the leaderboard.
Trace is small but it is a very sophisticated piece of technology. It has 9-axis sensors, advanced multi-Hz GPS, BT 4.0, and its own processor. Trace also has a rechargeable battery which will last 7 hours and charge through a water-tight micro-USB port.
What we have done: We have a working prototype of Trace and have made physical boards with the design and components that will be in the manufactured version. Industrial design is also nearly done. The final version of Trace will look almost identical to the pictures you see here.
What we have left: Making a dozen prototypes is very different from mass manufacturing hardware. We need to make final arrangements with factories and begin a 4 - 7 month process of bringing Trace to market which includes custom tooling, buying parts, manufacturing, and stress testing. We aim to have Trace in your hands February 2014.
How we got here: Over the past nine months, we've been hand making prototypes (grey box on the bottom), printing 3D models of the industrial design (seen in the middle), and making functional prototypes (black Trace on top) for testing. We work closely with Woodenshark, who were also behind the wildly successful Kickstarter campaign "Lightpack." We are slowly distributing a small amount of these prototypes to athletes for testing.
What we have done: AlpineReplay is a working app, in the app store, with hundreds of reviews and great ratings. Hundreds of thousands of skiers and snowboarders are already a part of the the network. The algorithms for skating are in alpha and the algorithms for surfing are in beta. Both the surf and skate apps are in alpha.
What we have left: We need to collect more sample data for both surfing and skating to ensure that all of our automated detection algorithms work for a variety of athletes with different abilities and in a variety of scenarios. We’re already in the process of doing this with a set of athletes that will expand into the end of this year.
How we got here: Two years ago we debuted an app called AlpineReplay on Android and iPhone. Over the past two years it's gone through three design overhauls, numerous feature additions, and has become the largest network of skiers and snowboarders in the world. We'll be using a lot of what we built for AlpineReplay in the apps for surfing and skateboarding. The apps will be specialized for those sports, but a good amount of the back end code is modular which is why we're so confident that we can have betas of two new apps delivered to you by January.
Kickstarter will help fund:
- Hard tooling
- Manufacturing setup
- Component orders
- App completion
Producing abroad is never an easy undertaking. Engineers have to spend weeks at the production facility. Samples have to be FedEx to US for testing. This is expensive and makes implementing design or manufacturing changes difficult. That is why we decided to produce our first batch of units in US. After the manufacturing process is completely debugged, it will be much easier to move offshore for production of larger quantity. Our production will also consist of two phases-- a batch of 2000 and then a batch of 3000 with a 3 week pause in between for testing after the first phase. This will allow us to tune our manufacturing process much better. To have engineers and testers close to our production facility makes the debugging process much faster, more efficient, and more reliable. We believe this is the best way to guarantee that everything will work the way we designed and intended and, at the same time, get ready for mass production much faster.
We are partnering with a seasoned US based Contract Manufacturing company that is ISO-9001:2008 certified. They have production facilities in US, Mexico, and China and will be able to accommodate our manufacturing needs at any scale. We have also partnered with a top US part supplier for world class logistics support. Our engineers have experience in mass production at such companies as Nokia, TI, and Magellan Navigation and are ready to start.
We have a small number of prototype products built with all core functionality working. This allowed us to verify the design and to collect real data for algorithm development. We have also built a small number Trace housings (some seen in the video) to verify mechanical design, usability, material appearance, LED visibility outside, and tactile feel. Based on these developments we have finalized both electrical and mechanical design.The BOM is finalized and verified by parts suppliers, PCB design is completed and verified by the manufacturer.
To set up mass production is expensive. We need to pay for tooling, manufacturing line setup, testing setup, and to buy parts for the first 5000 units. This is why we need you, Kickstarter.
We have not started packaging design and distribution setup. This will be done only after we have secured resources for mass manufacturing. Trace is a sealed, rugged device that has no replaceable parts (battery, memory) and is not repairable, so there are no issues with reverse logistics.
Risks and challenges
Like many other Kickstarter projects, we face a few challenges in bringing Trace to market.
Identifying the very complex motions found in action sports like surfing, skating, and others takes a lot of hard work, testing, and complicated math. ActiveReplay has an in house “math team” devoted to making all of our data and measurements accurate. Comprised of two Ph.Ds in Math and Control systems, ActiveReplay algorithms for skiing and snowboarding (AlpineReplay) identified 2.5 million jumps, 5 billion feet of vertical, and 4.6 million runs at thousands of ski resorts around the world. Our team is proven and working around the clock to do for all action sports what we’ve done for skiing and snowboarding. We have athletes already testing, our algorithms are already working, and we are very confident that Trace will work out of the gate for skateboarding, surfing, and of course, skiing and snowboarding.
SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS
Kickstarter campaigns have encountered problems when taking their prototypes to production. Our CEO and co-founder is the former CTO of Magellan Navigation and helped manage production in Taiwan and China with millions of units shipping to consumers worldwide. We have the experience to make and distribute hardware, will manage any issues that arise, and have confidence in the timeline above.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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