“You are ON the bike. You ARE the bike (or at least the wheel or something else very close to the ground). Appropriately gritty.” —juror Grace Stanat
“A simple idea, very well executed. Good sound effects, good use of graphics, good user interaction.” —juror Sasha Kurtz
Overview: Red Bull-sponsored site offers a racer’s-eye perspective of the sport of Supermoto, started in the U.S. in the late 1970s. This high-bandwidth site allows visitors to interact with race action.
• Using Flash Communication Server MX, video files are streamed at 4 data rates—150, 300, 500 and 700kbps
• The application monitors the sustainable frame rate and selects the data rate dynamically
• 7 unique camera angles are encoded for all 4 data rates
• 3 1/2 months, 14 people
Comments by Tim Barber:
“Our first visit to the Laguna Seca Raceway left us awestruck. It was intense. When the pack roars by, the sound of the bikes is so overwhelming, it makes for a total body experience. However, once the bikes and riders passed by, we found ourselves standing around waiting for the next lap.
“We knew that ‘standing around waiting’ was the exact opposite of what we wanted to do with the Copilot series; what we wanted was to take the audience off the sidelines and put them directly into the action with the athletes.
To capture motorcycle-racing legend Jeremy McGrath in action on the Supermoto track at Laguna Seca involved a production crew of about twenty people, on location for three days—one for preparation and two for shooting. We shot hours of footage, with about twenty different setups, and captured biometric and bike performance data in parallel.
“Using the Flash Communication Server, we pulled the ele-ments together into a site that puts the user in control of seven synchronized camera angles and multiple sound tracks as well as RPM, speed, track position and biometric data feeds.
“The biometric data capture was one of the most unusual pieces of the project. We worked with a custom hardware company in San Francisco to assemble a portable biometric recording device that captured Jeremy’s EKG and GSR (Galvanic Skin Response, often used for lie detector tests, to monitor stress) while he was racing.
“Since the series was conceived and produced as a broadband experience, our highest-quality video streams are 700kbps—about thirteen times what a typical modem supports. The site is built to start each user at the highest quality available and invisibly step them down to the highest quality that their system can support.
“Everything we learned on this project will contribute to making the next Copilot even better.”