This is the announcement on LapTimer version 18.1 (iOS and Android, all editions) - which is all around one new topic: Logger Support. LapTimer v18.1 will get available shortly and includes the following changes:
- Additional support for NMEA and GPX export
- Redesigned export dialog
- Import of VBO, NMEA, GPX formatted files
- After the fact splitting of laps
- LapTimer logger operation
VBO, NMEA, and GPX files usually represent a stream of GPS and other fixes - without being structured by laps. GPS devices with logger support (e.g. the VBOX Sport or the Dual XGPS160) will generate one of these file types when operated without LapTimer. With this devices, you start logging before leaving the pits and stop the devices again once you are back. You will not get any break down to laps or other insights, it is simply a big file with some data.
As an app that structures data in real time, LapTimer could not work with files like this so far. Instead, LapTimer connects to sensors in real time, continuously observes the data, and stores data "by lap" in its database. This way LapTimer works (opposed to classic systems where logging and analysis are separated topics) has several advantages and matches the requirements of an easy to use and integrated, modern, on-site system: it provides results instantly and stores data in a very effective way. Provided you use some recent hardware, LapTimer is capable of analyzing and browsing thousands of laps and millions of fixes - at a blazing speed. You can keep your whole racer history in your hands without any processing delays. Although this performance has many reasons, storing recordings as lap-structured data instead of raw logger streams, is one of the major contributors.
Nevertheless, this approach has downsides too. The one addressed with "Logger Support" is the ability to feed raw data into the system "after the fact", i.e. not in realtime. So what does "Import of VBO, NMEA, GPX formatted files" mean? LapTimer will read any of these files, apply its trigger detection functionality, compare to track set definitions on your device, recognize laps, and store the results in its data base.
So "Logger Support" augments LapTimer's sensor handling and joins the best from our modern smartphone world and the classic logger world!
To make it more tangible, here are the additional Use Cases supported:
- Motorbikers with limited space to store their smartphone, can go on track with a GPS mouse only. Once back in the pits, data can be sent to the smartphone and gets available in LapTimer immediately.
- Logger operation: you are on track and miss a well prepared track set or want to define it later: turn on LapTimer's "Manual Timing" option in Settings, start recording by pressing "Go" and enter the track. Once back in the pits, stop recording by pressing "Stop". Doing this, you will find one large "lap" of data actually matching many laps. So back home, or after adjusting the track set, select this "lap", press "Recalculate" and "Verify Lap". LapTimer will interpret the "lap" as logger data and split it into real laps
- Your racer career started before LapTimer and you have lots of logger data recorded with other systems. You want a racer's life time view? Load the track sets and import all these files and you will find everything well structured in your LapTimer database.
- Finally, you may run into the issue having bad GPS reception that made LapTimer miss the start/finish line - resulting in "multi lap recordings". This can be fixed now: adjust the track set (trigger positions) or use a wider detection corridor, and feed this multi-lap into LapTimer "Verify Lap" function again. It will split the data according to the new track set definition.
LapTimer v18.1 Rookie and Petrolhead for Android will get available on Playstore this weekend. LapTimer v18.1 Rookie, Petrolhead, and GrandPrix for iOS will get available in approximately one week (submission to Apple for review this weekend).