Every year I go to the massive “Electronic Entertainment Expo” or E3 to see if I can find any tasty new racing game goodies for you to start bugging your family and friends about for the holiday season. With more people gaming on their smart phones these days I went on the hunt to look for mobile platform racing games. My quest took be to the GREE (mobile developer) booth where I found “Wacky Motors”. I implore you to not be thrown off by the name. I played Wacky Motors myself on the show floor and after only a few minutes I can tell it is going to be a winner. Wacky Motor takes all the kart racing fun that you know from certain other games starring a plumber and his brother and brings it to your phone. The game is pretty fun and easy to play thanks to the simple controls. Acceleration is automatic and you simply tilt your device to steer and use the touch screen to use special items that you pick up along the way to get past your opponents.
Speaking of opponents, Wacky Motors features multi-player racing that allows you to go up against your friends in the same room or complete strangers over the interwebs! You can customize your kart to stand out a bit from the rest and the best feature of all is that this game will not be exclusive to hipsters and their blasted iPhones! Android users will be able to get this game as well once its released. Expect this game to hit iTunes and the Google Play store towards the end of the year or early next year. In the meantime check out the trailer and a few screen shots below! Thanks to GREE and to game director Shinichi Toda for letting me get my hands on Wacky Motors for a few minutes!
Anyone who owns a smart phone or tablet knows the wonder of apps. These days there is an app for just about anything, no matter if you have an Android device or an Apple device. When it comes to things like sports apps really shine. The official NBA app allows fans to keep track of virtually everything going on in the league, same with the official NFL app, and NHL app. NASCAR and Indy Car have their own official apps too as well and the best thing about all the apps I mentioned is that they are all free.
Last year Formula 1 used to be a part of that group as they offered a free live timing app that also included other features like track notes and weather conditions. I will admit it was a pretty basic bare bones app when compared to what some of the other sports offered but its simplicity actually made the user experience more enjoyable and it really came through when I could not watch a race on TV.
However, this year that all changed. Formula 1 enlisted developer Soft Pauer to revamp their official mobile app and revamp they did. The new app has everything last year’s app had but now with beautiful graphical representations of each track with live position markers for each driver, tire data for each driver (know who is on what tire), DRS zone markers on each track map, live news updates from race control, the ability to follow a specific driver, and pick out certain virtual (not live broadcast) corner views and such. I will be the first to say that is an impressive list of features. The only problem is that this app will set you back a whopping $30 bucks! (Actually $30.99 on Google Play and $28.99 in the iTunes App Store).
In a marketplace where most apps are 99 cents or free a $30 price tag for a mobile app to follow a sport is ridiculous! Or is it? Am I being unfair? Is there a good reason for the high price tag? Lets take a deeper look at some comperable apps (Indy Car and NASCAR) to see how they stack up against F1′s current offering.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile
The NASCAR Sprint Cup mobile app gives users access to live in-car audio from all the drivers in the field, race radio live broadcasts, live timing, live telemetry, and other cool stuff like highlight videos, interviews and the like. All of that stuff is offered for free, or so it appears.
As the title says it is the NASCAR Sprint Cup mobile app. So while the app is technically free, it can only be downloaded if you are a Sprint service subscriber. Also, even if you are on Sprint if you have the iPhone 4 or 4S you are SOL since the app is currently not offered in the iTunes App Store. Some have complained that the only reason they switched to Sprint was for this very app yet they cannot get it because they chose an iPhone instead of an Android powered phone.
Although, this is where the “Free” comes from. NASCAR does not have to charge users for the app since it is pretty much subsidized by the Sprint title sponsorship of the series.
Indy Car Mobile By Verizon
The Indy Car Mobile app is pretty similar to the NASCAR app except the Indy Car App allows for live in-car camera video (for select drivers), live “race control center” video during races, and the ability to split your screen into quadrants and watch 4 video feeds at once. You also get all the live updates, live track positioning, and other stuff you get with apps of this sort.
The Indy Car Mobile app is also free but like the NASCAR Sprint Cup app the key is in the app’s title. This app is only available to Verizon subscribers, and also like the NASCAR app it seems to be exclusive to Android devices at the moment.
“Free” is not so free
Ok, so it turns out that many “free” sports apps out there including the Indy Car and NASCAR apps are only offered as such due to sponsorships and since Formula One has no “official title sponsor” it is understandable why they decided to make their 2012 app a pay for play affair. However, my argument here is not that the Formula One mobile app should be free, its that $30 bucks for the privilege is way too much!
Again I fully conceed to the fact that the F1 2012 live timing app is very feature rich, and good looking but seriously, one would be hard-pressed to find a similar paid sports app period much less one that demands that kind of coin for use. I think Formula One/FIA would make much more money and make people much happier if they reduced the price of the current app to say $10 to $15 and offered a basic version (get rid of all of the 3D modeled live representation of cars, track position, etc) and offered it for a buck.
As it stands, the F1 2012 app has “5,000 – 10,000″ installs. While that may sound like a lot, the Indy Car Mobile app has 10 times as much and the NASCAR app has at least over 5 million installs. Despite locking out the other service subscribers and millions of iPhone owners those two apps still dwarf the F1 apps usership despite F1 being the second most popular sport in the world! What does that say?
Let me paint a word picture for you: You have your eye on a particular wheel but you are unsure how said wheel will look on your car. You then go to your forum of choice and make a desperate plea that someone “photochop” the wheel onto a picture of your car. Instead, forum trolls come out from under their bridge and begin an epic flame war hurling insults such as “your car is teh sux!!11″ and “mY eG CiViC PwNs U!” then the power-drunk forum mod closes your thread and nothing gets accomplished except raising your blood pressure. All too familiar isn’t it?
Well the guys at SSR Wheels found away for you to avoid all of that grief. If you have a particular SSR wheel in mind for your car simply download their SSR Wheel app for your iPhone or iPad, take a side profile picture of your car, then use the app to apply any one of their wheels to your car with some simple touch screen drag & drop action!
If this glorious innovation has not brought you to tears yet you will certainly sob after I tell you that this app is totally free! Yes! Gratis! Now, go fourth and wheel shop ’till your heart’s content!
If you know me then you know I pretty much hate the iPhone in all its forms, but even I can recgonize a cool iPhone 4S case when I see one. If you happen to own the so-called “Jesus Phone” and you do not have a case to protect it yet I would suggest the Tech 10 case from Alpinestars. The design is pretty cool and it is made from high-grade sillicone so your precious hipster device-err I mean phone will be protected from harm. This case will work with both the iPhone 4 and the 4S so you early adopters need not worry.
Besides the huge auto show going on in Detroit there are new tech goodies making their debut in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). While the two shows are far apart both physically and in content, there are occasional instances where the two mesh. For example, audio company Logic3 is using CES to announce a full line of Ferrari branded products. The “Ferrari By Logic3 Collection” will feature a myriad of products all dawning the famous prancing horse, including noise-canceling headphones and iPhone compatible speaker docks. One look at the pictures and I had to admit that the Logic3 designers did a pretty good job of translating Ferrari asthetics into their collection. I am especially drooling over the red/carbon fiber over-ear headphones! See the line for yourself in the pictures below and get the info in the press release.
Las Vegas, USA, 9th January 2012: Logic3 Collaborate with Ferrari to Create Iconic Suite Of Audio Products : Logic3 today announce an exclusive collaboration with Ferrari that unveils the creation of an iconic, world-leading collection of audio products. The Ferrari by Logic3 collection comprises a range of earphones, headphones and speaker docks that celebrate Ferrari’s excellence and flair, both on the road and in motorsport, by delivering superior audio performance and beautiful design.
Ferrari by Logic3 collection designed to bring performance, passion and technical excellence to life in the audio world
Ferrari selected Logic3 to produce the collection based on its proven, consistent and high quality audio heritage, combined with the company’s long-held passion and desire to produce the very best audio products on the market.
Recognising the need to build this new range of audio equipment from the ground up, Logic3 has worked with highly respected audio designers in this specialised field to create a range of unique audio products that bring Ferrari’s iconic Italian heritage to life. The Ferrari team has been closely involved with Logic3 throughout the entire process, ensuring the marque’s characteristic style, design and personality are captured within every product.
The Ferrari by Logic3 range is comprised of two styles:
The Ferrari Cavallino Collection is influenced by the emotive driving experience of Ferrari’s iconic GT road cars. Premium textures and materials combine with superior finishes to create unparalleled luxury and beautiful aesthetics. A range that deservedly features the illustrious ‘Cavallino Rampante’ (Prancing Horse) marque.
The Scuderia Ferrari Collection is inspired by the competition, speed, and technological innovation of the Ferrari F1 team. Each product takes its design cues from the sleek racing lines and iconic chassis features that make Ferrari cars so instantly recognisable and globally adored. This collection carries the exclusive Scuderia Ferrari badge, recognising a shared vision of power, excellence and success.
The Cavallino GT1 is a unique Speaker Dock which creates a rich & powerful audio experience through a market-leading 250W RMS Class HD AMP in a Multi Speaker Unit with a 6.5″ (165mm) Subwoofer. In addition to an Apple dock connector, the GT1 also features wireless Bluetooth connectivity for Android and Windows-based devices.
The Cavallino GT1 Air offers the same specification as the Cavallino GT1, but with the addition of Apple AirPlay wireless technology.
The Scuderia FS1 is a 2.1 Speaker Dock offering 120W RMS Class HD Amp with Twin Passive Bass Radiators. Wireless Bluetooth connectivity grants access for Apple, Android & Windows devices along with a specific dock connector for Apple devices.
The Scuderia FS1 Air offers the same specification as the Scuderia FS1, but with the addition of Apple AirPlay wireless technology.
Headphones and Earphones:
The Ferrari Cavallino Headphones and Earphones deliver a premium audio experience coupled with sumptuous comfort. With a focus on fine materials and detail, the collection is available in the following formats:
The T350 Over-Ear Headphones, which include active noise cancelling
The T250 On-Ear Headphones
The G150 & T150 Earphones, which feature TFAT and noise isolating technology
The Scuderia Ferrari Headphones and Earphones offer sleek design and high-quality audio, accompanied by superior comfort level in and on the ears. Mirroring Ferrari’s F1 focus, the whole collection is available in the following formats:
The R300 Over-Ear Headphones, which offer active noise cancellation (ANC) technology
The R200 and P200 On-Ear Headphones
The S100 and R100 Earphones, which feature TFAT and noise isolating technology
The Ferrari by Logic3 collection will be available from April 2012 and will be showcased for the first time at CES, Las Vegas (10th-13th January 2012). Customers wishing to pre-order any of the products from the collections can do so online – please visit www.ferrari-by-logic3.com for further information and details.
We have all been there, a group of people in one car about to embark on a long trip. It is moments like those in which shouting “shotgun!” becomes incredbily important. Why? Not just because you avoid sitting in the back seat with your flatulant friend Bob, but because who ever is shotgun gets to also be the “DJ” for the entire trip. A blessing for the shotgun rider but a possible curse for everyone else in the damn car. Well, Pioneer has found a way to end the “road trip DJ” argument for good with their new “MIXTRAX” technology. MIXTRAX searches a user’s music library and finds tracks that are similar in genre and BPM (beats per minute) and creates “TRAX” that keep the party going non-stop without having to manually scan through your music libaray or radio stations. It even adds DJ style transitions between songs like reverb, scratching, crossfading and more to make sure that the music is a continuous experience. That stuff is all great but I am just happy that MIXTRAX can save me from listening to nothing but “Air Supply” for an entire road trip, everyone knows that “WHAM!” is where its at!
MIAMI – (December 8, 2011) – Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. continues to innovate entertainment and audio technologies and today introduces MIXTRAX™, a proprietary technology which creates a nonstop mix of an entire music library to create a club-like atmosphere. Designed for music lovers and the club-going audience, MIXTRAX takes the music from an iPhone/iPod or USB/SD device and plays it back with added transitions and effects creating a virtual DJ inside select Pioneer products. Derived from Pioneer’s experience in developing world-renowned professional DJ products, MIXTRAX is implemented in a variety of worldwide Pioneer car audio products and STEEZ products designed for the dance community.
“Music has a unique ability to affect our moods, our feelings, and even our energy levels. With MIXTRAX, the listener hears the same kind of high-energy, nonstop mix they’d hear in a club or at a party, but now created seamlessly from their own music collection,” said Andy Parsons, senior vice president at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “Pioneer’s MIXTRAX technology combines our rich DJ heritage with our passion for music and delivers a unique DJ infused listening experience to our customers.”
Pioneer’s MIXTRAX technology transforms a consumer’s music library into customizable tracks that can be processed by select Pioneer products. Using Pioneer’s free MIXTRAX music management software, the user’s entire music collection is analyzed and various musical attributes including tempo and beats per minute (BPM) are identified. The software then tags each song and creates an assortment of playlists categorized in different genres and musical styles such as Beat, Chill, and Thump. The advanced analysis of the software identifies the best transition points of each song in the music library and seamlessly mixes and blends the tracks together, much like a DJ performing live.
Additionally, the Mix Style can be selected between Active, Standard and Simple, adjusting the intensity of the effects and transitions used, and the duration of each track within the mix. The custom MIXTRAX playlists can be transferred to a USB/SD memory device (not included) and played through an assortment of Pioneer in-car Audio Video products (see model list below) and STEEZ products, as well as transferred directly into STEEZ products for playback. Pioneer’s in-car Audio Video receiver takes advantage of its large LCD touchscreen by animating the album art of the currently playing track in time with the mix, creating a truly unique in-vehicle music experience.
To easily and quickly enjoy nonstop mix of music, a simpler version of the technology called MIXTRAX EZ is built-in to several Pioneer in-dash products for both in-car CD receivers and in-car Audio Video receivers. Featured in new in-car CD receivers (see model chart below), three types of DJ-style transitions (Flanger, Echo and Crossfade) and six sound effects (Backspin 1 and 2, Echo, Trans, Roll and Scratch) are automatically added between songs for a nonstop, continuous listening experience.
To further enhance the “dance club in your car” atmosphere, the illumination buttons and display of the in-car CD receivers pulsates and changes color. Two modes of illumination (defeatable), each with six color patterns, create different light effects to give users a cool and fun experience.
The third in-vehicle implementation of MIXTRAX is in an iPhone App that can be used with Pioneer’s revolutionary AppRadio™, the first in-vehicle product designed to utilize the smartphone’s processing power, storage capacity, network connectivity and apps as the primary source for its information and entertainment capabilities. Similar to the MIXTRAX software, the MIXTRAX iPhone App compares the tracks stored in the iPhone’s music library with Pioneer’s list of analyzed music stored in its Internet servers to identify musical characteristics and create custom playlists with DJ style effects and transitions for a nonstop mix of songs that can be played back and controlled through the Pioneer AppRadio.
These days smartphones are getting smarter. There are so many things we can do on our iPhones and Android phones that it is hard for most people to keep their hands off their mobile devices, especially while driving, which tends to have dangerous results. Enter Pioneer’s “AppRadio“. Essentially AppRadio is an in-dash device that ports compatible apps from the users smart phone onto its touchscreen in a more driver friendly format. This way when a user wants to navigate their Pandora account they don’t need to pick up their phone to do it, they can just use the large touch screen on the AppRadio unit. We think this is pretty awesome and could potentially save lives or at the very least save someone from a ticket. The only downside is that it is only available for iPhone 4 users. Hopefully Pioneer will develop this for Android and Blackberry users in the near future. Check out the video below for Pioneer’s explanation of exactly how AppRadio works.
In case you didn’t realize it, the 2011 Formula 1 season starts this weekend in Melbourne, Australia. For us hardcore fans a new Formula 1 season means more late nights and early mornings watching the races live on TV. However sometimes you just can’t wake up, stay up, or just be around a TV when there’s a race on. Luckily for just such occasions Formula 1 has released an official app to help you keep up on events each race weekend. The app gives live timing, circuit data, results, news, and session alerts. There is even an archive feature that will give you race results all the way back to the 50′s! The best part of all is that this app is available in the Android Market, BlackBerry App World, and the iTunes App Store. No one gets left out!
Want to test drive the Audi RS 3 without flying to Germany? Well you can if you own an iPhone/iPod touch. Audi just released a game featuring the RS 3 that not only lets you virtually drive the car but race, drift, and crash it should you feel so inclined. Although you may want to focus on the racing part since this game a part of a international contest in which the winner will get their very own Audi RS 3!. The contest runs from March 3rd to the 16th. Scroll below for some screen shots of the game and the contest details in the press release.
Asphalt Audi RS 3 racing game offers exclusive driving experience
International competition – grand prize is an Audi A3 Sportback
Free Asphalt Audi RS 3 game for the iPhone
Just in time for the exhibition debut of the Audi RS 3 Sportback at the Geneva Motor Show, a new app will arrive on March 3rd that allows all iPhone owners to take the new Audi model for a test drive. With the free racing game for the iPhone called Asphalt Audi RS 3, players can choose between two tracks (Bahamas and Tokyo), both of which feature thrilling graphics.
The iPhone app, which is available from the Apple App Store, was designed in partnership with Gameloft. Gameloft is the world’s biggest developer and publisher of video games for mobile devices. The sixth edition of the Asphalt racing game series, which has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, has been available since December 2010.
Winning in the Asphalt Audi RS 3 game involves more than just driving over the finish line: with skilled driving maneuvers players can beat their competitors or explore hidden short cuts. “This is a way for our customers to get to know the new Audi RS 3 Sportback even before the official market launch,” said Lothar Korn, Head of Marketing Communications at Audi.
In the game, the youngest member of the Audi RS family can be controlled using the touch-screen or via tilt control, which the iPhone allows to be used as the steering wheel. Customized configuration of the car is also possible.
For people who want more than just virtual driving fun, there’s a link that leads to Audi’s mobile website as well as to a page with an overview of all Audi apps (www.audi.de/apps). From there, iPhone owners can download numerous other Audi apps.
In the Asphalt Audi RS 3 Contest players can climb their way to the top of a worldwide online list. In this international competition, the player with the fastest time after three rounds on the Bahamas track will win an Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro with the S line sports and exterior package, quattro drive, leather trim, xenon plus headlights and a BOSE sound system. The contest runs from March 3 to 16.
Starting March 3, the Asphalt Audi RS 3 iPhone racing game will be available worldwide at no cost from the Apple App Store in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions. After installing the program players can use all of the content of the app with an active Internet connection. The game is designed for the iPhone, but also functions on an iPad and iPod touch.
The contest is being offered in Germany, Australia, Belgium, China, France, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada (except for Quebec), Mexico, the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, South Korea and the United States (including the District of Columbia). Participants must be of full legal age and possess a valid driver’s license.
Word came from Germany today that Audi will have a keynote adress during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week. They didn’t give any details as to what they would be speaking about however in the press email they did include a picture of the E-Tron Spyder. The only way to know what the conference is really about is to watch the live stream online or on your iPhone/iPad with the Audi Media app. In case you don’t either of the mentioned devices we’ll embed the live stream right here for your viewing pleasure on Thursday (Jan 6th) at 8pm central time. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Looks like we got turned around by the European press release! CET is European time not central! The video stream will go live at 11 AM US Pacific time. We will post the stream just a few minutes before that so you wont accidentally miss the begining.
So remember, if you want to see the Keynote live via the stream tune into MotorworldHype.com at 11 AM US/Pacific time