Toyota and Microsoft’s EchoCam lets fans take selfies with a WRC rally car
F1 is currently looking at how technology can improve fan engagement, but it’s not the only motorsport turning to tech to boost excitement: the WRC is getting involved too. Toyota Gazoo Racing and Microsoft have just announced a new idea that basically uses racing cars to take selfies for fans, and I think it’s an incredible idea.
Called the EchoCam, the new idea links the idea of photography and onboard cameras into one – two of my favourite things about watching motorsport. Interestingly, the service works without an app, using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform along with a website optimised for smartphones.
So how does it work?
When you take a picture of the Toyota Gazoo Yaris in a special “Echocam Photobooth” area, and upload it to the EchoCam website, the service will use time codes to match the time your photograph was taken with a snippet of onboard footage of from Toyota race car. The result? You can see yourself taking the photo from the driver’s perspective.
Sure, it’s not going to change the WRC’s profile overnight, but it’s a neat feature that encourages fans to take pictures, and also rewards them by putting placing them right in the content. Selfies aren’t really my thing, but a selfie from a rally car? That’s something I can get on board with.
Toyota and Microsoft say the app will be up and running for this weekend’s Neste Rally Finland in Jyväskylä, beginning 27 July 2017, but hopefully it will be rolled out for the rest of the season, too. F1, are you seeing this?