uTrack TV was the first place winner of Startup Weekend Bahrain 2012, sponsored by Batelco. They’ve had quite a year, too – achieving more in their first year of existence than even they had hoped for.
uTrack’s mission involves bringing drivers, fans, and sponsors of motorsports closer together, and into the middle of the action, with their cutting-edge mobile app. The app, which is available on many devices, puts users in the race with cameras mounted on-board and around the track.
The idea for uTrack started at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). Some of the creators of uTrack felt so disconnected from the event—despite being right there—that they figured there must be a better way. That sparked an idea and led to talks started with Hasan AlDoy (Founder & Chief Developer) and Ali Mahmoud (Founder & Motorsport Expert), alongside Mohammed J. Shareeda (Bahrain International Circuit PR). The idea snowballed until uTrack set plans to participate in the Startup Weekend Competition.
The Boost Forward
After plans and meetings, uTrack finally got approval from Mr. Fayez Ramzy (Bahrain International Circuit) to go live starting in the fifth round of the Karting Championship at the Viva Karting Track. This boost forward allowed uTrack to consistently offer live video and audio for all the subsequent rounds.
The BIC gave uTrack another challenging opportunity: the Karting 24hr Endurance Race. The uTrack team was able to cover the entire 24-hour race with the help of cameramen Mohammad Al Romaili and Hamad Al Majed. Plus, uTrack featured exclusive interviews and extras for their app users.
The Big Bang
Right before the Formula 1 round of the Bahrain Track, Mercedes-Benz—represented by Al Haddad Motors—contacted uTrack to live-stream the Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg at the launch event of the new A-Class Series. The team was able to successfully stream video from the launch using a custom camera setup.
Just a few days later, uTrack were the live media sponsors at the Bahrain International Boat Show, 2013. This was the first time they wirelessly live-streamed from a flying Octocopter (8-fanned miniature helicopter).
When Al Reem Racing Track in Riyadh heard about uTrack, they invited them to cover the final round of the Saudi Karting Championship. For the first time, uTrack used a wireless camera to take close-up shots of drivers and lineups. The team also scored an exclusive interview with the head of the Saudi Motorsport Association, and covered the Collective Arts Event by RedBull and Drag ‘n’ Drift Nights by BIC.
Later on, Members of the uTrack team were honored with the support they received from HH Sh. Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The team was asked to join the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation to live-stream the complete European Season starting from Windsor in the UK. The event can be seen on their dedicated channel at http://www.endurancebh.com.
Days later, The Assilah Forum Foundation (Moroccan Arts Festival Organization) under the Patronage of HM The King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, asked uTrack to live-stream a complete Moussem (40 days) of daily conferences and musical shows. It was the first time an art show like this had ever been streamed.
Every project has its drawbacks. Although the uTrack system can support the lowest bandwidth available and it will downgrade the quality on the fly in order to adjust to available bandwidth, many iOS users have reported video disconnection due to low GSM signals. These reports are especially common on BIC grounds, as 4G / 3.5G availability is still not as widespread as anticipated. Despite this drawback, uTrack is working to move forward.
The uTrack future relies on good planning and support from motorsports fans. uTrack has a lot in the works, including video shows that will be featured on their web TV channel, talk shows, exotic sport cars reviews, and special portfolio interviews with top Bahraini drivers.
BIC Media Club App
uTrack and in Association with Bahrain International Circuit Media Club recently released the BIC Media Club app which can be found in both Apple’s AppStore and the Google Play Store for free. The App includes features such as live-streaming events, full motorsport schedules with push notification service, and news and videos from both uTrack & BIC.