Auto-Measure Speed, Distance And Lap Time

Posted December 1, 2010 at 2:21am by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 5219 views

Kaiser & Kaiser has introduced speedClock 1.0 for iPhone 4, their new utility that uses the device's built-in video camera to automatically measure the speed of any object, the distance to any point, and lap times of racers. Employing the device's three-axis gyro and basic trigonometry establishes distance. Speed and laps are measured using the motion sensing of the video camera, timing the interval between the object entering and leaving the frame. Because it relies for its operation on a built-in video camera, the app is presently compatible only with iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, and iPod touch 4.

speedClock makes it easy to measure the speed of cars, boats, skaters, skiers, cyclists, running dogs, model cars, footballs, etc. The user simply holds up their iPhone in either portrait or landscape orientation, and allows the app to automatically measure the speed of any object passing through the frame of the viewing screen. Sensitivity controls are included to compensate for very large or small objects, background motion, camera shake, or rapid cyclical motion. All distance measurements can be calculated and displayed in feet or meters.

The first step in making a speed measurement is getting a good estimate of the distance between the user and the point through which the object will travel. The app can help in this estimate by automatically measuring distances up to 50 feet (15 m) with good accuracy. This distance value allows the app to measure the speed of an object by measuring the time interval between its entrance and exit from the screen. This automatic time measurement is achieved through real time image analysis. The app measures the change in color density that occurs when the object enters from one side of the viewer, and exits from the other. Relying on color density rather than edge analysis is preferable, as it is fairly insensitive to iPhone motion, allowing handheld use.

The second step in making a speed measurement is to enter the direction of movement of the object, left to right, or right to left. Holding the viewer in either orientation, the user presses Reset and the app will automatically display the speed of the object that passes through its view. Speeds are displayed in large red numerals using a thematic LCD font. In addition to setting the direction of movement, the Settings panel allows adjustment of motion-sensing sensitivity. The user may also set the speed result to be displayed as: m/s, km/h, mph, ft/s, knots, or seconds (independent of the distance).

Feature Highlights:
* Accurately measure speed, distance, or lap times
* Calculate and display distances in meters or feet
* Video motion-sensing automatically measures speed
* Sensitivity controls for optimal measurement in difficult conditions
* Operates in portrait or landscape mode
* Carry a miniature radar gun, lap timer, and range finder in your pocket

speedClock opens with four buttons displayed: Speed (of an object moving across the screen), Time (between repeated occurrences of an object moving across the screen, e.g. runners on a track, including lap number, lap time, and total time), and Distance (between the user and the object). The fourth button, Tips, includes complete instructions and useful tips for maximizing the accuracy of the app. For example, the user is advised to avoid using the distance measuring function in cases where the point on the ground to be measured is more than ten times the user's height (as this yields too small an angle for reliable reckoning).

"speedClock is the only iOS app that makes it easy to accurately measure people or objects as they pass by," stated company Owner Sten Kaiser. "Athletes, animals, vehicles, etc. can have their speed measured, and lap times recorded automatically."

Pricing and Availability:
speedClock 1.0 is $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category. Review copies are available upon request.

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