Simple device tracks motorsport performance
The Italian-made Brain One is a standalone, wireless tracking system that is claimed to be easy to use, and designed for integration with popular action gadgets. The device is intended to appeal to the motorsport fan who wants to improve their skills – or settle the "who's the fastest" argument with indisputable, hard data.
Data-logging systems are usually found in race cars or motorcycles, employed for the recording of performance parameters that will assist in defining the optimal setup of the vehicle and fine-tuning the rider's performance. Select high-end racing motorcycles – like Yamaha's latest R1 – even include such capabilities in their standard equipment, but in general most relevant solutions to be found in the market are rather expensive and complicated. Although telemetry is every racing team's quintessential tool, for the average Joe it seems almost irrelevant.
Brain One is a system that essentially goes against the flow by offering a user-friendly solution at a relatively low price. The compact device requires no cables connecting to the motorcycle, it is controlled with just one button, and contains an impressive array of sensors: a 9-axis inertial measurement unit (including accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer), thermometer, barometer, microphone, GPS and Glonass, plus Wi-Fi and BTLE (Bluetooth Smart).
These will provide a wide variety of information on every aspect of a ride, such as speed, selected gear, lean angle, lap times, trajectory, acceleration, braking, external temperature, engine rpm, G-force and elevation. The data-logger can also connect to heart rate sensors, adding even more information.
One might wonder how Brain One can detect engine rpm and gear changes without any physical connection to the actual engine. Interestingly enough, it is the embedded microphone that is employed for these tasks, guided by its proprietary software to "hear" the motor's parameters.
Apart from the performance-related data that it can record, Brain One can detect specific route points that appear accident-prone and record them with GPS coordinates for future reference. Should an accident occur, the device can be programmed to immediately send a text message alert to predefined phone numbers, with the precise GPS location.
The waterproof and shockproof device connects wirelessly with Android and iOS smartphones, displaying live the parameters of the ride via a dedicated app. The data is also stored in the included 4GB memory, so it can later be analyzed in detail with a specifically designed desktop application.
Brain One can additionally couple wirelessly with most digital action cameras, creating impressive videos with a customizable overlay of performance data, thanks to the included Brain View software. This material can be shared instantly via social media or email, but the smart device has more aces up its sleeve. One can invite friends to connect to the app and create events, where data is displayed live on every connected smartphone or smartwatch, along with the friendly challenge's standings.
Brain One's software is created on an open-source Android interface, so that anyone can design further apps to enhance its functions. In its standard form it already seems ideal for all kinds of motorsports, as well as biking and snow sports, but adding some leeway for customization wouldn't hurt either.
Production will hopefully start in May by partner Elemaster Group, and crowdfunded via a Kickstarter campaign that launched on February 25. Its final retail price will be €299 (US$325), although there are several discounts for early pledges – should the campaign come to fruition, of course.
Find out more in the following Kickstarter video.