Indy Driver Uses iPad for Real-Time Race Stats

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Indy driver Tony Kanaan is among the first professional athletes to integrate an iPad into his workflow. Indycar.com blogger Daniel Incandela noticed Mr. Kanaan holding an iPad during a pitstop, posted an image on Flickr, and then followed it up with a video interview posted to YouTube (see below).

In the video, Mr. Kanaan explains that his engineering team developed a custom app that displays real-time race information and stats so that he can quickly get updated during his pitstops. As he was speaking, he decided that what he really needed was a pocket in his car so that he can pull the iPad out himself, rather than his team having to take the split second to hand it to him.


Indycars.com YouTube video

Comments

Mike Weasner

As a fan of the Indianapolis 500 race, I now know who I will be cheering for this year!  Way to go Tony!

Constable Odo

But, I thought the iPad was useless.  Even more so than a iPhone or iPad Touch (because it doesn’t fit in a pocket).  At least that’s what I’ve been hearing lately.  The iPad seems to be useful in any number of places depending upon which app is running at the time.  Damn!  It’ll be really cool if all the race teams start using iPads for data display.

Maybe Kanann’s team will try to get an iPad integrated into the Indy car later in the year.  Tony can also watch a movie or listen to some tunes if he’s got a good lead.

At first glance, I thought Tony Kanaan was Vin Diesel.

iJack

I am a great fan of the Indy Car series, as well as Formula 1.  But I have to say calling any of these drivers, “athletes” is more than a stretch.

What is really great is they had a need, saw the iPad, and wrote their own app.

woode

I dunno iJack. The idea of suiting up and driving in a circle (or tougher yet on a road course) for a few hundred miles without getting out of the car at least qualifies one as an endurance athlete!

Cool to see the iPad popping up in places like this!

KenC

It’d be hard to integrate an iPad, but you could put an iPod touch in the cockpot. The only problem is it’s TOUCH, they’d have to remove their gloves to use it.

KenC

cockpit, not cockpot.

geoduck

I am a great fan of the Indy Car series, as well as Formula 1.? But I have to say calling any of these drivers, ?athletes? is more than a stretch.

I don’t agree. They fight noise, wind, and heavy G forces while doing very precise physical work for hours and hours and the one that does it the best wins. They have to train year round; roadwork, weights, endurance training, in order to be able to compete. I’d call them athletes.

iJack

They fight noise, wind, and heavy G forces while doing very precise physical work for hours and hours and the one that does it the best wins.

So do fighter pilots, but that doesn’t make them athletes.  As for training; most of their time is spent tweaking their cars, not themselves.  Endurance and competitiveness are not enough to qualify a person as such.

Would you ever consider a jockey an athlete?  Or a competitive sailor?  These people have admirable skills, but just because there is some physicality involved, is that enough?

If Kanaan wins a race, is it because he drove better, his car was better, his pit-crew was better, or even his weather-forecaster was better?  The answer is, “any of the above.”  How does that compare to other sports?

Jonesy

I would definitely consider these drivers athletes.  Canadians agree as Jacques Villeneuve was named athlete of the year when he won the F1 championship.  The drivers usually don’t tweak the cars the techs do. I’ll add that I feel the same way about Moto GP racers as well.

geoduck

Jockeys? Yes.
Sailors? I don’t know much about them but at first glance possibly.
Fighter pilots? That isn’t really a sport per se, but I would think of the pilots on the Red Bull Air Racing circuit definitely are athletes.

The question is why aren’t professional drivers thought of as athletes? They do something for hours at a time that is physically taxing and requires extremely high levels of training, both physical and mental. The winner is whomever (the driver or if you wish the team) does it better by absolute standards, the best time. How would that be different from running a Marathon, or the Tour de France?

geoduck

W00t!
Kanaan came in 3rd at Kansas City.

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