Tracktherace – GPS Tracking Device Example
GPS tracking allows organizers and spectators to view a competitor’s location.
Remote devices meant Tracktherace had problems with patchy single network coverage.
Rugged, resilient connectivity in the most remote areas for one flat rate.
The Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) is the ultimate in extreme team sport, encompassing several endurance disciplines including navigation, running, canoeing and cycling. Mixed teams of four must find the fastest way to negotiate between 500 and 700 km of challenging terrain. Adventure racing is probably just as far from a cozy workspace as you can get, but it is in these extreme environments that the Trileuco team flourish. As the creators of the Tracktherace platform explain, ‘This is how we experience real adventure and how we disconnect from the world… There are unique moments when, after maybe two days of running and without even knowing how, you open your eyes and suddenly you are made aware of the sheer beauty that only nature can offer: a sunrise in a hidden, inaccessible valley or night closing around you in the middle of the sea.’
Although accompanied by their team members throughout the race, participants are completely isolated from outside support once the race begins, as no help from GPS devices is permitted. ‘Now by using this kind of application, information from the teams can be shared with the public as the race unfolds’, joint founder of Trileuco and developer of Tracktherace, Marcos Muíño comments, ‘As we were ourselves competitors in this discipline we immediately knew which were the important variables to consider, and we wanted a system which would set a global standard for safety, control and dissemination of adventure sport events.’ Each teammate carries a small GPS tracking device that feeds data to the Tracktherace platform to continuously show each competitor’s position on a map overlay, which includes any pertinent details like checkpoints and the finish line. These continuous updates allow organizers and supporters to follow the action in real-time and allows emergency services to quickly localize any casualties, even in isolated areas. The platform also provides automatically updated competitor information, including average speed, number of checkpoints visited, bonuses incurred, and time spent at rest and on the move. This means that live representations of the race and rankings are available to spectators and organizers alike, however far from the action they may be. Post-race analysis allows competitors to view their performance and strategize for the next event and gives organizers a real-time insight into the event and the ability to identify areas for improvement.
A critical aspect of these devices is that they maintain a network connection wherever they are. ‘The very nature of adventure sport means that it takes place in remote and rugged terrain, areas where network coverage is notoriously patchy. Although the device will store data during downtimes, these moments mean that the competitor is invisible,’ commented Marcos Muíño. ‘With our previous network provider, the GPS trackers could only connect to their own network, which meant that there were frequent gaps in coverage.’ Pod Group’s multi-network IoT SIM card offers access to multiple networks in each country and if the signal is lost, the SIM automatically swaps to a different network with the best possible signal. ‘One of the main reasons why organizers implement our system is so that they have the security of knowing the participants’ whereabouts at all times,’ explained Marcos, ‘With Pod Group’s data SIMs, it is possible to switch between networks, meaning that total network unavailability is reduced to an absolute minimum. This was one of the main reasons that we switched to Pod Group.’
With the ever-increasing range of networks available through Pod Group’s multi-network SIMs, coverage is assured for Tracktherace devices, straight out of the box and on one flat rate globally. ‘The fact that we can avoid extra roaming costs when Tracktherace is used outside Spain strongly influenced our decision’, said Marcos Muiño. Modifications to the SIM can also be made Over the Air (OTA), eliminating the need for manual interference and providing truly unrestricted connectivity. At Pod Group we place emphasis on cultivating a close working partnership with all of our customers. Our team of M2M experts can offer advice on every aspect of their M2M solution to deliver a sophisticated, ready to use product such as the Tracktherace platform. This world-class collaboration of Trileuco’s versatile and efficient platform and Pod Group’s multi-network IoT SIM cards has already successfully been used to monitor adventure races, motorbike rallies, and canoeing competitions, with countless more potential adventure sports applications. Not only has this combination delivered a resilient, market-leading solution, but as Marcos states, ‘Combining your passion and your work generates a very positive workflow and drives the desire for constant improvement, we strive to be leaders in our sector.’ Just as Tracktherace strive to best their competition whatever the arena, Pod Group strive to deliver the perfect solution for our customers’ business.