For all you track rats, there is a new lap timer out there that you might want to check into and keep an eye on. My first contact with Waylens came about two years ago when I decided to get involved with a Kickstarter project with them. This was a Boston startup spun out of the M.I.T. media lab that I found to be really interesting. Their camera was not going to be just another dash cam or kludged together combination of different hardware components and software. They intended to have this be a first class product in a market full of existing solutions. They did not start out with the goal of making the ultimate, cost effective, video and data acquisition system for track days – at least not publically. The initial design focus was on having the absolute best quality video and easiest possible installation and operation combined with a full featured data acquisition capability for every day driving on the road. It is my opinion that they have really nailed the hardware design. As they say, the rest is just software.

What prompted me to bring this up now is that their latest software and firmware release this week supports a very capable Lap Timer at no additional cost. Lap timing was not their first focus and I have spent some time making the case that their hardware platform is perfect for this market. Now that they have made a public announcement of their Lap Timing capability I think is it worth suggesting that track fans should keep an eye on this company. The software is currently in beta release but it seems quite solid at this point. In terms of data collection, you get date & time, track map & position, a running list of lap record times, live lap time for the current lap, current best lap, mph, rpm, throttle position, (boost if available), and G-force. You can export highlights and share via a mobile app or the Waylens Studio PC based software. This is just their first release of a lap timing function. Segment times with full data and additional sensor inputs are just more software. There are lots of additional features that can get rolled into this product and provide it with a roadmap that is certainly worth watching.

As I said above, the main attraction for me initially was the hardware design. For a startup, they took their time. From when I got involved with the Kickstarter project until I had beta hardware for evaluation was a little over 18 months. Functionality can be added through software but ultimately the limiting factor becomes the hardware platform so it is nice having a system with room for change.

Video System
  • 157 degree wide angle field of view
  • f/2.4 aperture
  • 7 element aspherical glass lens system
  • Rugged metal barrel case
  • Fixed focus
  • 1GHz image processor @ 318 million pixels/sec
  • Solid 1080p recording at 60fps, lower resolution options with faster and slower frame rates
  • Large optical sensor 1x1.8” provides both high sensitivity and high dynamic range
  • Back-illuminated sensor for low light performance and good night recording
Display
  • 400x400, 286ppi circular AMOLED display
  • Screen size 1.39”
  • Contrast ratio 10,000:1
  • Viewing angle 178 degrees
Sensor Integration
  • 10 Hz GPS
  • Barometer
  • 3-axis accelerometer
  • 3-axis gyro
  • 3-axis magnetometer
  • OBDII link to car via Bluetooth
Communication Support
  • Built in Wifi hotspot interface
  • Built in Wifi client interface
Storage
  • 128 GB micro SD card

As closing comments, let me say that this is not another GoPro. It is intended for internal windshield mounting in a car. It is not waterproof. It requires powering through a USB cable (although there is an internal, rechargeable and easily replaceable battery that will last about 30 minutes). The beauty of this camera is that it allows simultaneous recording of video and data with no synchronization problems at all. That is an essential feature as the complexity and feature list of the camera grows over time. The Horizon Camera has been on sale for $499 since the beginning of this year.

Unless you are a techie that loves to be on the front end of a product, I suggest waiting and watching for the next 6 to 9 months to see how things develop. There are still features that can be added to this system and features that can be improved. If you want something that is plug & play and provides you with a great, headache free, learning experience for your track day efforts, I am confident that the wait will be worth it. Today there is nothing close to this hardware in terms of performance and sensor integration for $500. If Waylens is able to follow through and I am confident they will, the wait will be worth it. Now that the Lap Timer capability is public, I will keep you updated with my impression of how things are going and I am sure you will hear more from their growing user community on the web.

Waylens, Inc.
50 Milk St., Floor 16
Boston, MA 02109
https://www.waylens.com/

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