The race does not stop on the nights and weekends, so I had to ping the Axmor team on Skype in their mornings, in their evenings, late evenings, weekends, holidays - I always got what I was asking for with no delays. People like the Axmor team and their work ethics are a large part of the reason we love working with your team, and I look forward to continuing to do just that.IBM Emerging Technology's Client Engagement Team
To collect and process data collected from an athlete’s bike sensors, such as biometric data, exact location and forward-looking weather conditions with the goal of enhancing decision-making and performance during the Race Across America.
RAAM is widely considered to be one of the toughest endurance tests in the world. Crossing four mountain ranges and three desserts, cyclists travel 3,000 miles from the west to the east coast of the United States. During the Race Across America, the clock never stops. Rather than being split into stages, once the race has started, it does not stop until the cyclist crosses the finish line.
In collaboration with IBM, Axmor specialists designed a web application for ultracyclist Dave Haase, which visualizes data collected from various sensors, forward-looking weather conditions and location. The athlete’s data is consolidated onto his smartphone and then imported into the database.
Data collected from a wide variety of devices can be divided into the following groups:
- Biometrics: heart rate, core temperature, skin temperature, breathing rate
- Performance metrics: power, speed
- Weather conditions: wind speed, direction, air temperature
- Position: terrain, altitude
The end users of this application are Dave’s crew and his fans. Taking into account the requirements of each end-user segment, our team developed two dashboards showing the athlete’s main metrics.
Optimizing Real-Time Decision-Making
Since the race is not split up into stages, each cyclist makes hundreds of critical decisions throughout the race: when it is best to rest and when to continue cycling, when to accelerate and when to slow down. The most weighty decision an athlete makes during a cycling marathon is when to sleep. The race leaders complete the entire distance of the race in eight to nine days sleeping for as little as two hours a day. Axmor specialists designed a dashboard that would enable Dave’s support team to assess current data such as Dave’s performance (strength and speed), his location and forward-looking weather conditions. With the best information at hand the team were able to help the athlete make effective decisions in real time.
In addition to optimizing real-time decision-making, Dave’s support staff planned his upcoming workload: when he should expend energy and for what duration, when to rest and what food intake he needed. Calculations were carried out at every waypoint along the route based on data renewed at one-second intervals.
Data visualization communicates information through graphical means. All statistical calculations were processed in the database in order to lighten the load on the client’s side of the application. This enabled instant display of up-to-date information on the cyclist’s performance and condition.
Integration with Social Networks
To make it easier for fans to follow cyclist Dave Haase’s progress, the web application was integrated with popular social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
Integration with Tracking System
To track Dave Haase’s place in relation to his opponents, our team integrated the application with Track Leaders tracking system. This enabled fans to follow the participating athletes’ position, route and status - active, finished, or DNF (did not finish).
Integration with Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Services
When crossing the area from the west to the east coast, the athletes can find themselves in extreme conditions encountering along the way, torrential rain, high-speed winds and sweltering heat. In order to forecast weather conditions and work with them effectively in real-time, the web application was integrated with the Weather Underground service.
Axmor specialists provided Haase’s support staff with critical information that was used to fine-tune his strategy with the help of which Dave Haase took second place in Race Across America out of 122 participants.