Thursday, January 05, 2006

ActiveTrace: burn your batteries

Vito Technologies is distributing ActiveTrace as mentioned here. The idea is that you can track your physical activities by creating tracks for your byciclying, running, skying, and other activities with ActiveTrace using data calculated from GPS readings. ActiveTrace provides a slew of statistics based on your track data. You can also pause a track and restart it later.

To start with it hit close in the activation screen (or buy an activation key for $29.99) and you will be able to try it out for free if your exercise lasts less than 30 minutes. The trial won't let you record for more than that requiring you to create a new track.

The default settings are in metric system, but you can switch it under Menu | Settings | Navigation | Measuring system. There are still some words in German in its Help which might indicate its development group origins, but the product definitively shows signs of an 1.0 release.

Tracking it

Also under settings you will need to scan and test your GPS receiver. It didn't pick the GPS without going thru these steps. Start a track by selecting Menu | New... and typing a track name and prefered storage location. By default it will assume Biking as your exercise but you can set your weight (80 kg default value) and activity under Menu | General | Statistics.

Now after having obtained a fix with your GPS receiver select Menu | Resume to start recording data for your new track. Pinpoints can be added to a track (waypoints). From the main view you can check your current speed, acceleration and altitude (which might not be that meaningful after all). With the track under way you can select among four different view: statistics, track, altitude and speed. The last two are pretty similar to what GPSDash offers. And track offers a view like that from GPS MeterPDA but without the same precision. To obtain a better drawing of your track you can try using the filter settings Menu | Settings... | Navigation | Filter between simple and smart to set a threshold to avoid errors while reading values from the GPS receiver, but that will drain more current from your battery. ActiveTrace also runs on SmartPhones and it is supposed to let you send and receive SMS.

You might want to try it out on your regular activity to check the statistics provided by ActiveTrace and see if they sound reasonable, including amount of calories burned, distance covered, time, speed averages, slopes, and lift angles (whatever that means). It is just that seeing the irregular tracking drawing you realize that you need measurements in a reasonable range so that they can be of any value, but for that you will be required to run your PDA/Smartphone with the smart filter set which will cause your battery to drain a lot faster. Give it a run.

1 comment:

France1124 said...

Does anybody know how to export the data from the ActiveTrace program in text? I would like to get the data into excel.