Mediaan collaborates with PXL University College and Karting Genk, creating a Mixed Reality Karting application for go-karts. A team of 8 IT students, lead by Micha Verboeket, is exploring the possibilities in this motorsport by adding digital options. One of these applications is a virtual coach using smart glasses (Microsoft HoloLens), that improves the skills of the driver during the race. This personal coach is developed at the Mediaan office at the Corda campus in Hasselt and at iSpace, the high-tech project space of PXL, also located at the Corda Campus. Belgian papers “Het Nieuwsblad” and “Het Belang van Limburg” wrote an article about this innovative project.
Mixed reality karting
Micha Verboeket (director Mediaan Hasselt): “At Mediaan we are continuously looking at the possibilities of technologies and how we can create improvements or new experiences. Including the digital disruption of karting which is, by no coincidence, my hobby. I had this Personal-coach idea using technology for years and I’m very excited that we are doing this project with PXL and Karting Genk. The karting experience hasn’t changed much for the last decennia, until now.”
The driver wears special glasses during the race. A personal coach application is instructing the driver during the race by projecting virtual objects and information on the track. Karts will be connected, which allows you to see information about the other drivers. The driver receives score points based on his driving skills and new gamification elements are added, like a real-life version of Mario Kart. Together with PXL-IT and Karting Genk we are developing and testing this prototype to see what the future possibilities are of these technologies.
PXL University College
Mediaan and PXL University College combined their expertises to work on this innovative mixed reality project.
Francis Vos (head of the PXL-IT department): “Our last year IT students build applications and prototypes for businesses in multidisciplinary teams of different specializations. They do this on iSpace, our project space at the Corda Campus, or at the companies’ offices like with Mediaan. They work with the latest technology and make applications that will drastically change our lives in the short term. At iSpace they can have the necessary facilities for this, such as an Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality and a Robotics lab.”
Wesley Hendrikx (lector information technology and team-coach): “As a coach, it is my job to see to it that the students approach this project according to the rules of art. The students have seized this opportunity with both hands. Technically this project is quite a challenge. We combine technologies and hardware such as ‘Unity’, the ‘HoloLens’ and a ‘GPS tracker’. Nevertheless, our students have managed to build a nice working prototype.”
Ruben Lassau-Strauven (one of the 8 IT-students): “Mediaan created a challenging assignment for us that allowed us to use state-of-the-art technologies. In addition to delivering a prototype, the cooperation with Mediaan and all the different disciplines and stakeholders is also essential in this project.”
Karting Genk is Europe’s biggest outdoor karting circuit and home of drivers like Max Verstappen. When they heard about our project, they were very excited.
Lise Moermans (Marketing Manager Karting Genk): “Although karting is a great experience already, virtual elements could only reinforce this. With our new website and soon also a handy mobile app where you can view your lap times and race statistics, we are working hard on the digital development of our company. We like to jump on the ‘virtual’ train and see this project as an added value for our activities. In terms of applications and added value of this mixed reality prototype, for example, I think of our Driving Training courses where the ideal racing line or the braking points can be displayed virtually on the circuit. Or by adding a score system where the driver can collect points by doing well and loses points when making mistakes. In the future we can even introduce ‘game sessions’ in which you have to ‘catch’ items in addition to fast lap times in order to gain points. The aim is to give demonstrations with the HoloLens during our World Championship (9th September 2018). More info about our World Cup karting: http://www.homeofchampions.be.”