Trace wants to track your kickflips, cutbacks, and fakies

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Not too many people enjoy long talks about running. Likewise, most folks don’t have convos over their time on the elliptical, or dish details on how long they used the stairmaster—but ask any skateboarder, snowboarder, surfer, or skier how their last session went and they’re happy to tell you all about how many ollies they landed or how many attempts it took to nail that carving 360.

Trace, the same size as a delicious Reese's.

ActiveReplay, makers of the popular skiing and snowboarding community AlpineReplay, want to help skiiers, snowboarders, skaters, and surfers measure, compare, share, and of course, discuss their runs and sessions via the Trace activity tracker. Unlike other (similar) activity trackers intended for action sports, such as the Lit, the Trace doesn’t belong on your wrist or your belt—instead the peanut-butter-cup-size device fits directly onto your board to track your tricks.

An example of a SessionSheet from AlpineReplay.

Trace, which is in the final days of its Kickstarter campaign, uses an accelerometer and GPS data to determine the board's position in the air. The focus isn’t on what your body is doing, but on what the board is doing—something that cofounder David Lokshin says was intentional. “We want to quantify the sport, not necessarily the body. That’s something that other trackers already do. We want to measure the equipment because all the action is happening there.”

Trace's spec sheet.

Trace has 9-axis sensors, its own processor, and a highly accurate multi-Hz GPS chip that updates five times a second, and the device and sister app use an algorithm to determine position. All this technology means that Trace can identify particular components of each sport.

For example, skateboarders can use Trace to record tricks, track speed, map sessions, and determine height so you can tell how high your highest ollie was. And because Trace recognizes an initial set of tricks, such as ollies, nollies, kickflips, 360 flips, and impossibles, it can also let you know if you’ve correctly landed them—or if you're still putting too much weight on your back foot. Similarly, surfers can measure where they’re surfing, the length of each wave caught (both in time and distance), maximum and average speeds, as well as how high—and how long—you were in the air.

A few images of the surf app that pairs with Trace.

The device capitalizes on ActiveReplay’s history with growing communities around comparable data, which they’ve done with their flagship offering, AlpineReplay. AlpineReplay uses a smartphone to measure speed, airtime, vertical, calories, distance, and more to give skiiers and snowboarders bragging rights over each other, and the company hopes to extend its offerings with Trace. Trace will also connect to a smartphone, and features three individual (and free) apps for surf, skate, and snow on Android and iOS. The device is both shockproof and waterproof, the rechargeable battery will last for roughly 7 hours, and the Kickstarter campaign is precariously close to funding. With any luck, you'll be able to start Trace-ing your tricks in no time.

This story, "Trace wants to track your kickflips, cutbacks, and fakies" was originally published by TechHive.

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