SimDeck Event booking discount

Exclusive Cash Back Voucher for your next SimDeck GP

Exclusive Cash Back Voucher for your next SimDeck GP

We have a unique gift for you. How would you like to be paid a $50 cash back discount simply by writing some positive comments about your SimDeck Racing Event. This offer is only valid in NZ and closes on 30th November. Some conditions do apply of course which are on the displayed voucher. This offer requires that you print the voucher off, it must be either physically posted or emailed to us with your booking and when you pay your initial event deposit.  It can and not be applied at any other time.

After the event you will need write a blog entry on this web site after we have posted your Simdeck Virtual Grand Prix.

Where else can you be paid for writing on a blog? Contact Pit Lane Booking Office Today. 09-414 2348 before someone else secures your prefered date.

Digital Strategy Version 2 launched by Govt.

Ministry of Economic Development Newsflash
The NZ Government yesterday launched version two of the move to move NZ down a digital economy path. The move is crucial if NZ is not to lag behind countries like Korea, Taiwan, UK. For those who do not have an immediate perceived need to be digital, the intended pathway is crucial for growth and will effect so many underlying industries and activities. The move for information and communication to go from an analog process or paper base or one of the many other variants and systems has rapidly progressed. In the mid 90’s most Kiwi’s did not have an email address and web sites were a intriguing initiative for the geeky tech type companies. The change has really only got underway and we are only at the foothills of the digital world. We believe simulation will become an ever increasingly important aspect of our daily lives. 3D is going to permeate many aspects of industry, entertainment and education. I don’t just mean sterescopic hit me in the face 3D but also 3D visualisation in manuals, programmes, LCD, movies, TV and projection.

A further splendid example of 3D visualisation and scanning in 3D is this SimDeck Coopers race car designed for wall mounting. The following image is one of the 3D products from the SimDeck range of products and is a full size realistic F2 Coppers 500 race car designed for wall mounting. The display truly captures the romantic and dangerous era of when our real world counterparts began racing and killing themselves in ever so rapid numbers.

This amazing detailed life size car would deliver the coolest atmosphere in any car show room, theme bar, luxury entertainment area. Available for ordering from SimDeck.

Digital modelling subsequently turned into this realistic life size F2

Communications and Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe has launched Digital Strategy 2.0, a vision for making New Zealanders leaders in the digital world and using digital technologies, skills and opportunities to contribute to our future prosperity and sustainability.

Digital Strategy 2.0 recognises that the basic enablers of digital development such as connection are important as they were when the original Strategy was launched in 2005. It goes on to focus on how we can maximise the potential of digital technologies to increase productivity, improve environmental sustainability, and build social inclusiveness. This is reflected in the Strategy’s new focus on outcomes.

The Strategy includes a number of actions that will help achieve these outcomes.

New projects such as Connected New Zealand and the Digital Content Innovation Cluster are being introduced, and initiatives such as the adoption of videoconferencing by government agencies, the Aotearoa People’s Network and the Community Partnership Fund are being expanded.

A major initiative of the Strategy is the $340 million for the Broadband Investment Fund over three years from Budget 2008, to enable affordable broadband roll-out based on competitive open-access principles. This is part of the $500 million the government has committed to investing in broadband infrastructure over the next five years. Expressions of interest for the Broadband Investment Fund opened earlier this week.

SimDeck Simulators parent company, ICE AV Technology is actively involved in delivering to the market technology to enable this digital transition. For example digital signage, 3D Digital LCD screens – with out glasses and now shipping!!!, 3D stereoscopic gaming monitors, do you recall those stunning digital images in the opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics … that massive huge screen rolling out on the arena floor, the Olympic rings rising from the floor into the sky and all those massive digital images around the top of the “bird nest” are all part of the ICE AV digital product portfolio.

The magical Olympic rings that floated away to the sky, was not some edit job but an actual product now available from ICE AV as part of our digital product portfolio

The magical Olympic rings that floated away to the sky, was not some edit job but an actual product now available from ICE AV as part of our digital product portfolio

This is part of the parent company’s policy of being aligned with world leading patented technology, manufacturers and partners. Other activities include driving simulation software for learning to drive, cars, trucks and even offering virtual military soldiers similiar to the science fiction often portrayed in Star Trek, Minority Report, Holo Deck or Star Gate. ICE AV is one of the few NZ companies able to offer holographic imaging screens for the instore or front window experience and is a typical example of the innovation ICE AV offers for a digital world.

As I reflect on the profound influence of what being digital means in the simulation business I can not help but reflect on the very first Open Cockpit Simulator developed. It made its first public debut on television in a classic UK drama that would often have the hairs on my neck standing. The two main characters – one a gently kind of James Bond and the other a sexy cool chic (yep even to this young boy) going by the name of Emma Peel…. of course you’ll know I am talking about The Avengers. The first open cockpit was developed by Lotus and the screen was a winding panorama from the movie industry ….my how far things have come in the intervening years. Currently we are looking at being able to insert a real driver in a real race, in a scheduled Formula One or similiar race into a virtual reality race with you driving our simulator, enabling you to race against any car in real time in a virtual world…now how cool would that be to race against Lewis Hamilton or Scott Dixon in the same race anywhere in the world! Of course this capability is all part of the Digital Strategy environment.

I recall my earlier transition from being an analog warrior to a digital native. At the time I was closely involved in the media production business and music distribution. I knew every photo scan, every audio copy made, or every video dub reduced the quality with the second copy having introduced “analog noise”. Today I reflect on how digital has eliminated that issue, things have come along way from the very first model portable DVD player launched in NZ by JVC in the late 70’s.

I would like to deviate off topic slightly …. will this new digital generation and direction we live in, actually make a difference to each persons social ability, moral standing, values, life skills, will it enable teenagers to respect all those in authority? My generation were taught to never answer back, Mum ensured the morning duties were done each day before school – yes we had a duty roster!, we were taught self respect and many other boring aspects that make us who we are today. In the 60’s and 70’s I appreciated technology, (note no “digital”) it was just technology, we learnt how to use two bake bean cans to communicate 100m apart ..at home, I had international social networking (post mail), I experimented taking my very first photos trying to be creative of the lamp post outside my bedroom window. As I got older I would reflect if only I had today’s technology back then!!! Surely then, as I would reflect, how fortunate today’s youth are, they must be the most well balanced and resourced generation ever to be, sadly as former All Black, Chris Laidlaw said over the weekend, society has become too PC. We have a desperate need for male teachers and role models in schools. It would seem that the digital and connected generation generally speaking, are as mixed up as ever if not more so committing suicide, robberies, murders and killing themselves on the road at unprecented numbers. Kids are glued to the TV, X Box, RSI from texting too much and as Chris said they are loosing the real life adventure element. So as I head back to topic will this new Digital Strategy make a difference to the more fundamental issues of life, like improving self worth, or reducing the nightmare on our roads, family disharmony, child abuse, dishonesty? I don’t think so, but nevertheless it is a move that is required. The problematic areas I raise can only be addressed by willing individuals, and substantial rise in the quality of care many of today’s young children and help from organisations like Auckland based Parent Inc and headed up by Ian Grant.

Update 12 October – We have since joined up with KidsCan Trust here in Auckland to help alieviate some of the poverty here in NZ. Of course our contribution is a raindrop compared to the size of the problem, but as they say every little bit helps. Maybe you would like to become another drop. 🙂
Auckland based Kidscan Trust be sure to visit the links for the national online KidsCan Auction on http://www.trademe.co.nz.

We have two SimDeck Simulator auctions here where you can get into the high speed lane to raise some funds for a worthwhile organisation with admirable aims….all at our expense!

A further splendid example of 3D visualisation and scanning in 3D is this fascination structure that was developed for Adidas and the 2008 World Cup  by scanning soccer players and then they were machined from hard foam.

data used to machine giant physical models for display at Zurich central rail station.

Adidas makes it big at Euro 2008 - with the aid of Geomagic 3D modeling software

Have a look at the following two 3D video clips. One demonstrates the latest in digital facial animation and provides indication of what might be possible in a few years with your digital avatar and the other a short digital movie with human face compositing that will generate an entirely different response as you watch it. 

If the digital avatar concept is of interest visit my good colleaque and partner in business Shahin’s web site at Robot Hosting

If any of the products, concepts I have described and talked about interest you please contact me at kevin[at]simdeck[dot]com

How I became a Professional Simulation Driver … Part 1

Constructing the new BBQ area for which Dad rewarded us with a new set of racing carts. The area also became the start grid for our down hill garden circuit.

Constructing the new BBQ area for which Dad rewarded us with a new set of racing carts. The area also became the start grid for our down hill garden circuit. Today the shed has gone and to the left is a driveway right to the back to agarage where once was the hen shed.

I now often get asked about how did I become a Professional Simulation Race Car Driver and manufacturer of race car simulators and more recently establishing the SimDeck Race Team….well I thought I would share a little of my story here .. so lets see what my fingers tell as I document this for you right now.

  When you are in the middle of what you do, it seems so obvious as to how you do it… Right! isn’t everyone a Simulation Race car Driver? I mean isn’t it a profession the Careers teacher might suggest…of course I am saying this a little tonque in the cheek.

Seriously though on reflection like Scott Dixon, Lewis Hamilton and many of the world famous and local race car drivers we started young. And like so many others we all have our own unique path.

The other significant activity that bought the motorsports interest alive in my childhood was as driver and team manager of my own Race Team by the age of Team. My father built one of the largest circuits in our town adjacent to our home …how cool was that to have our own race circuit without track fees!!! Dad never had a movie camera however this motorsports enthusiast captures that experience in a similar circuit.

If you haven’t checked it out already you’ll see what I mean on the Scott Dixon video clips I have listed on the posting – Kiwi’s can rise to the top of the US Motorsports

Recently the famous Scotsman Sir Jackie Stewart OBE came to speak New Zealand and I had the chance to learn indepth and first hand his amazing story of courage, disbility, the guiding influences he had as a young boy. What I found most interesting is the one point in his young life when Jackie took a turning step as a teenager to become a drop out of society and heading down the path of becoming one of society’s failures before he hit 20 yrs. If you want to hear the most fascinating story of how he became what he is today make sure you search out for his autobiography “Winning is not Enough”. Hardback version comes with a DVD. I would particularly recommed it to parents whose children have a learning disability / dyslexia or if your teenagers are about to take the wrong path in their life. It could save you $1,000’s and reduce a huge amount of worry, heart ache and frustration with your own children.
Click on this link for a Forbes Interview with Sir Jackie Stewart
Did you know that Jackie Stewart was a world class champion in two sporting fields…. Motorsports and [blank] …you’ll need to read the book 🙂

You certainly don’t need an interest in motorsports to find Jackie’s book interesting, just as you don’t need to be interested in aviation or Virgin to learn from Richard Branson.

Continue reading

Muscle Memory is one of the most crucial elements that connects your brain to your body

Today I want to share some thoughts about a concept we understand intimately in the simulation business that everybody since the birth of mankind has endeavoured to achieve and perfect by the time they are 12 months old. It is an issue that affects our work, behaviour, responses, movement, reactions, co-ordination, whether we will win a sports event, our driving, how we operate machinery, how and why we train, how F16 pilots respond in an emergency and primarily one of the reasons pilots train in simulators and why the MacLaren Technology race centre has spent millions on their state of the art race car simulator in the UK.

First I would like you to perform a very simple execise. Before I give you the instructions here is a question. Can you outsmart your foot? Think about it for a moment …. let me rephrase it, Can you control your foot no matter what else your body is doing? Ok store your answer, share it with someone else who is reading this with you. What I am about to share with you might be one of the most profound things you will understand about human movement and control.

How smart is your Right Foot?

1.  WITHOUT anyone watching you (they will think you are GOOFY….. 🙂 and while sitting where you are at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot  off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2.  Now, while doing this, draw the number “6” in the air with your right hand.

Now did you suddenly see what happened with your right foot? Your foot changed direction as you were drawing the figure 6! Try it again, and concentrate harder and see if you can outsmart your foot, and again. You could keep doing this every day for years and you will NEVER be able to stop your foot from changing direction.

Why is that you might ask, am I stupid, because I am write handed or left handed – no it is none of these and every person on the planet will have the same response with the foot. The answer is because It’s preprogrammed in your brain and there is absolutely nothing you can do about! So relax …it means you’re normal 🙂 The telling aspect about this illustration is that the muscle memory has been preprogrammed already so you do not need to spend time learning this for your next party trick…you already know how to do it.

This brings me to todays post, Muscle memory and how it is one of the most fundamental and crucial skills we need to teach our body.

Do you recall one of the very first activities you learnt that you do to this very day… its walking, those staggering steps, mums outstretched arms and coo cooing you to take one more step. You had to concentrate and tell each leg what to do. If you later lost your legs and became an amputee you went thru the whole process again. Teaching the brain and muscle how to work together, when to send signals and when to move. So eventually with walking you finally perfected it and never once do you now think, left leg, now right, now left…eventually it became engrained in your brain and you leg muscles learnt what to do, you even managed it at high speed and we saw some amazing examples of this at the Olympics in Bejing last week and then this week with the Disabled Olympics with the amputees.

This is one of the reasons we use simulators, is to teach the muscle how to move in a split second in an event sub consciously preprogrammed with the correct automatic response. The nano second command from the brain to the muscle may either kill, save you or enable you to proceed normally. Many times we find in the SimDeck simulator that people confuse left paddle down gears with righ paddle gears up command, but never do we find people having a problem with left foot brake and right foot accelerator. With the gear paddles on the steering column often we will give the instruction right paddle up, drivers use the left paddle and suddenly drop itno reverse. After some practice they eventually teach the muscle the command. Now this issue becomes so much more critical, when sudenly they have an audience, 15 other cars racing with them, the expectations to try and win, the need to cope with multiple decisions, emotions and implement car driving skills extremely rapidly as they hurtle into a corner at 250 kph, or pilots coming out of a barrel roll to shake off and incoming missile.

I reflect on a sad incident in Auckland last year in our posh suburb of Remuera where an older lady was reversing out of her drive way, went to put the foot brake on, but hit the accelerator by mistake, the car suddenly lurched backwards and hit a pedesterian that just happened to walk past the drive way at the precise moment… she was killed! So in that nano second, the legs got confused and the right leg depressed instead of the left.

In a simualor a movement or response, can be programmed into the body due to the ease of repeating over and over again with out the huge cost in reality. Can an ambulance driver practice driving in a “red alert condition on the Auckland motorway”? Can a Police driver practice driving around your city chasing a car with all lights blazing? The answer is NO. Therefore the only way these drivers can practice and teach their bodies how to automatically respond can only be achieved in a simulator. You might think, “well they could do this on a test track”, yes they could but the financial, environmental  and resource realities and the 100’s of drivers need to learn and teach their bodies simply make it impiossible to be able to do this regularly and to repeat exact same road conditions whenever you so desired. This is the awesome power of driving simulators and the very ability and technique that can be used to teach every driver how to driver, change their attitude in driving, eye co-ordination, leg and arm movement etc.  Dean Baker captain of the recent NZ Americas Cup Regatta in Valcenia, was asked “why is the team out training so much on the yachts”, his response was simple and short to “learn muscle memory.”  The professional race industry knows this and one reason why Daniel Greenwood here in Auckland, programmed and designed the Taupo A1GP race track in the simulator … so our Johnny Reid could learn the track before they could get onto the track to race Balck Beauty.

It surprises me , but them maybe it is to be expected, that why successive Governments around the world insist in a short questionaire test and simple driving test for a few minutes is the basis of giving you a license. I call it a legal license to kill.

Sure some will have a 6 time driving course, or Dad might teach you out in the carpark and eventually around some quiet road. But never will Dad or the instructor teach you to learn how to respond when an oncoming car is about to hit you in 2 seconds, but they may teach you how to do a three point turn, reverse into a side carpark and adjust your rear vision mirrors. No wonder we have so many accidents even when no other car is in the vicinity for 50 km!

This is truely the power of simulators and every fighter plane pilot knows this intimately as it teaches them how to respond in one of the most carbon friendly solutions available.

The following graphic is often used to tease the difference of how woman think and how men think. Double click on the graphic to bring it alive.

The ability to multi task

The ability to multi task

iRacing Launches Advanced Motorsport Simulation

Blurring real world and virtual racing in the PET250 model car

Blurring real world and virtual racing in the PET250 model car

The following announcement from iracing is another significant step in the development of the rapidly growing international race simulation world, which gives my career and business opportunities for continued growth. Without the virtual tracks being built and championships being created we’re headed for the bitside junk heap.

So thanks to Henry and John my future is glowing even brighter as another championship winner will be taking on drivers and teams from around the world.

Last night at a business meeting I was chatting over drinks and the comment was made that the person in the discussion had no idea that pro race car drivers regularly practice in simulators rather than the actual track. His comments were interesting in two ways… when one becomes involved having a career as a simulation race car driver you tend to think people would realise, that just like the Boeing, Virgin, Air NZ pilots who constantly train in simulators, that the same equally applies to top end race car drivers who do the same. So the public perception of race car simulation as a training tool is still low on the horizon. With the wwwiracing.com launch it further enhances and promotes our industry. However this is now no game but serious business with dollars, careers and wealth at stake.

 iRacing’s Motorsport Simulation and Internet Racing Service Driver Development Tool Now Available to Auto Racing Community and General Public

BEDFORD, MA. (August 26, 2008) – iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations today announced the general launch of its much-anticipated subscription-based auto racing simulation and internet racing service.  After four years of development and testing, virtually anyone anywhere in the world with a PC, high-speed internet access and a set of automotive-style wheel-and-pedal controls can develop his or her race-driving skills and also compete in the newest form of global motorsport – real-time, online competition, known as internet racing.

The announcement of iRacing’s public launch was made at noon today by iRacing’s co-founders and owners, John Henry, who is also principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, and Dave Kaemmer, a pioneer of motorsport simulation technology with more than 20 years experience in the field. 

“This is a moment that Dave and I have eagerly envisioned, from the day in 2004 when we started iRacing.com,” said Henry, who is also principal owner of Fenway Sports Group, co-owner of NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing.  “Development of the simulation and the service and the addition of more cars and tracks is and will be a continual process, but opening the service to all comers is an important milestone in the life of the company.”

iRacing.com was founded in September of 2004 by Dave Kaemmer and John Henry. Kaemmer was co-founder of Papyrus Design Group, developers of award-winning racing simulations including NASCAR Racing: 2003 Season and Grand Prix Legends. Henry is principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group – the co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing – as well as an avid simracer. The iRacing.com team combines more than 100 years of real-world racing experience with more than 50 years of successful racing simulation development.

Online SimDeck Videos

We have a wide range of video’s and content that is continually being added to.

A good place to visit at present is the Simdeck library on YouTube There are about 30 plus at present.

Your License to Kill … legally acquired

Your License to Kill … legally acquired!

The sub heading maybe provocative, however hear me out first. Getting a driver’s licence is one of those things we do as an act of passing thru to adult hood….at least in most developed countries. However it is a topic hotly associated with opinions, politics and subjected to huge peer pressure. On this page I would like to explore this topic and hopefully raise some conversation.

3 months after I was born, my mother’s elder brother and others were killed in a horrific accident many years ago one evening in South Canterbury. The death had a devasting effect on the family and to this day many many years later is an event that brimmers just below the surface in the family’s emotional countenance. As  a youngster growing up I was very aware of the Uncle I never knew and only experienced in the family photo’s. Today I had a parent ring me whose son was in a terrible accident who has lost his peripheral sight and joins the ever growing list of parents whose lives have had a knife stuck in and twisted. For the some the knife will never come out. The caller rang about driving simulators and driver training which has prompted this page and probably not surprising is a subject close to my heart where my company has an emerging activity.

First I would like to share a telling video that might be helpful and if you are a parent who has lost a child because of a car crash they may have particular relevance. Probably moreso if you have teenage children driving right at this moment or about to get their license. My question to you as a caring parent is … Are you setting them up to be killed or kill and are you aware of the devastation that could rip through your family, any hour, day or sometime this year …  a sobering thought I think all parents should think about and discuss witrh their teens. 

Simulators for driver training – Modern technology that is saving lives, raising skills, awareness and how it can save the heartbreak families are experiencing every day around the globe. If only YOUR teenager had been properly trained, tested and evaluated they could have been having dinner with you tonite. Make sure you watch the following video because it could easily have been your child teenager under observation in the simulator.

A very enlightening video from MSNBC that may well have you rethinking about your teenage driving children

One family that lost a son, in a sole car accident has gone onto influence and save teenage deaths. Joshua Brown’s death has gone as far as affecting  US State law. Joshua Brown Organisation If you wish to contact them …. Contact Brad Klaus at (678) 797-2303 or brad.klaus@joshuabrownfoundation.org.

The New Zealand Government places the cost of one single death on our roads at $5 million dollars (their published figures) and a non fatal accident at $500,000. This sobering cost to our society and national purse should make every Government sit up and determine to do something about. Will we see National, Labour, Act, Greens or the Maori Party make any affective promises in the forth coming election campaign … I doubt it, though there might be a policy published about raising the driving age or higher fines … but I am not holding my breath for a 21st Century solution policy for driver training. From where I sit if every traffic fine was dedicated to a 21st century answer to driver training, then your children, loved ones, partners are more likely to get home alive tonight. I think you’ll all agree with me hurting the pocket does not teach you to be a better driver.

Another American family has gone through the same gut wrenching, life changing event … here is their story …. A 15-year-old girl, killed in a car crash. She, the passenger in the car. The driver, a teenager himself. Now, more than two years later, the victim’s father is on a mission.

Michelle Sanderbeck had gone out with a group of teenagers to get ice cream but she never made it back home. She was killed on a winding road in Montville Township. She’d been a passenger in the back seat of a car, driven by another teenager, who lost control around a curve and crashed. Michelle was the only one in the car who was killed. The other teens were injured.

Michelle’s family, devastated, is now trying to save other parents from the same agony they’ve experienced. Ray and Debbie Sanderbeck, Michelle’s parents, are turning their pain into something positive. Ray has volunteered his time to teach teenagers how to drive safely. Read their full story and subsequent efforts here. And to think it all started because of a simple innocent quick trip to buy an ice cream! Mstarfoundation.com