With less than one week to go, the official app of the FIA Formula E Championship made its appearance in the iTunes App Store and Google Play. It is a well organised app where you can find the basic information you need as a (new) fan, watch videos and vote for your favourite driver while using FanBoost. But it’s lacking some dynamic features and content.
There is nothing to complain about the overview on the ‘homepage’ as soon as you launch the app. Watching videos, reading the news, FanBoost, results and info about the next event is just one tap away.
A new feature is the ‘360° Racing’ video. It is launched with one video from a pit garage where you can look around 360 degrees while people are walking around, taking snap shots and discussing data. In conjunction with Motorsport.com, Formula E organisers have been working on a 360° camera technology that would be present on every car during the race. According to Motorsport.com, this 360° view will be recording and streaming the entire race from every angle. A nice feature worth to try out.
Static and dynamic info
The static information about the events, drivers and teams are originally coming from the website and made mobile. It will give the fans a decent overview about who are driving, background stories about the teams and what the circuits are like. The question remains how quickly Formula E can adapt to driver changes, as Mike Conway (Dragon Racing) and Antonio Felix da Costa (Amlin-Aguri) are featured in the app while they are not racing in Beijing.
The FanBoost page from the official website has been embedded into the app. It will give the fans the opportunity to vote for their favourite drivers. The three drivers having received the largest amount of votes will be handed a ‘FanBoost’. It will give them once 5 seconds of extra 30kW power, which they could use – for example – in an attempt to overtake another driver, closing the gap to their main rivals or in a defending position.
The button for live streaming and live timing is missing. But the description of the app is hopeful: “Telemetry from drivers and cars and much more to come throughout the season.” It might hint on the appearance of augmented reality features too. “Tyre pressure, engine, fuel, brake fluid, speed, torque – all sorts of things will be monitored on a miniscule nanosecond by nanosecond basis,” Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm’s chief marketing officer explained in September 2013. The data should be sent real-time to a central area where teams will be able to get access to that information. At that time it was anticipated that an app would offer an “augmented reality” view of the race, allowing spectators to follow the cars even when they are not visible due to buildings.
More dynamic content like a larger amount of news or photos from behind the sences, embedding social media for fans to interact with the organisers or the teams and drivers are lacking.
A great first start for the FIA Formula E Championship to launch a good looking free app. But we’re looking forward to more dynamic content in order to use the app more often than just around a race weekend.