Want to see the Dakar Rally up close? This year, you can get a first-hand view of the desert race thanks to veteran rider Cesare Zaccheti. For 2021, he’s taking viewers along the event via experimental augmented reality technology.
Omnimoto reports Zaccheti is using the TabUi app to broadcast his experiences along the race. It’s something totally new for TabUi. The app was designed to promote tourism through Italy’s northwestern Piedmont region, not racing through the Saudi Arabian desert.
However, as mobile videography advances, we’re seeing more and more work like this, especially with Lyndon Poskitt’s Races to Places series, which profiled Dakar’s Malle Moto (sorry “Original by Motul”) class. Zaccheti is racing that same class this year, and it will be most interesting to compare his experiences to Poskitt’s.
“Augmented reality” sounds cool, but what does it actually mean in this case? Apple’s page for the app seems to show it functioning as sort of a trip diary, allowing you to record images of the places you’ve been. Not exactly in-flight footage, although that’s probably possible. It sounds as if Zaccheti will be broadcasting live through the app after the special stages, and race fans will be able to interact with him through the app. Obviously, he’s going to be fairly busy during the actual timed stages, so don’t expect to be texting him via TabUi while he’s actually dune-bashing.
According to Apple, the TabUi app “Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.” It’s free, too, so—if you’re curious try downloading it. You’ll get an insider’s look at Dakar, although you might need to speak Italian to get the gist of what’s going on. As for Zaccheti, you can also follow his adventures on Facebook.