BMW Group Technology Office USA and GoPro revealed that by the summer of 2016, BMW M Laptimer app will allow a GoPro camera to be controlled with an iOS device and even get to use the brand’s innovative iDrive controller and the high-resolution screen.
This app integration is a favorite among many driving enthusiasts and with this improvement, owners will be able to start and stop the BMW M Laptimer and at the same start and stop the connected GoPro camera from recording.
While the video recorded is saved on the camera, a low resolution version is also saved on the phone allowing it to be played back beside the map view of BMW M Laptimer app. According to BMW Group Technology Office USA senior development engineer Christian Schmid, integrating the GoPro and the BMW M Laptimer have shown to be popular with a number of driving enthusiasts. Since the brand first launched its GoPro camera in-car integration, pairing it up with the BMW M Laptimer was the way to go to improve the driving experience, Schmid shared.
This integration, Schmid continued, ensures that BMW drivers are able to capture videos safely and then share their track experience. The GoPro integration will be available as a BMW M Laptimer update starting in the summer of 2016. Once the M Laptimer app is launched in the iDrive system, the menu will now show a GoPro tab. Clicking on this tab will allow drivers access to certain GoPro functions on the BMW iDrive screen.
The first thing to remember is that it shows the name of the camera being connected to make sure that it is the intended camera. It also shows a live preview image in order to help adjust the controlled camera’s angle to the desired position. Adjusting the camera however needs to be done at standstill. There is also the display for the strength of the WiFi signal and the current charge level of the battery.
It also allows access to the camera’s power button and thus helps preserve the battery especially when the camera is not in use. The record button on the BMW M Laptimer is the same one that starts the GoPro camera recording. When the Stop button is pressed, it stops the recording of both the BMW M Laptimer and the GoPro camera at the same time. To help with the playback using the BMW M Laptimer, users get to see the “GoPro” menu entry.
Clicking on this will play a low-res version of the video recorded on the phone just below its map view. The different playback controls like, pause, play, scrubbing, and the playback time are displayed just above the video image. GoPro director of strategic product partnerships Adam Silver shared that the partnership of BMW and GoPro set a new benchmark in its class when it was launched in 2014.
After that BMW has continued to be innovative and thus show a passion in making the leading-edge user experience to allow drivers to capture as well as share their personal driving experience. While it is meant for off-road use, the BMW M Laptimer App is able to record data using the GPS receiver and on-board network of this BMW Apps–equipped car. It can then make comparative track sessions and deliver the needed performance information.
It not only generates track maps but also obtains important driving data like number of laps, best lap time, top speed, and ambient temperature. All of the data gathered are then shown on the scorecard screen once the vehicle stops.
With the BMW M Laptimer, drivers are able to get highly visual depictions of the speed, brake input, engine RPM, steering angle, throttle, g-force, and fuel level. Users are able to fast forward or rewind through the track recordings, and even zoom in or out. Even without having any pre-installed track map data, the M Laptimer can still compute the laps and the times. As a result, it is possible to use the M Laptimer as a training aid in order for one to be a faster and even safer driver.
This app can even be used on any closed circuit like the ones at the BMW Performance Center located in Spartanburg, South Carolina and even the BMW Performance Center West located in Thermal, California.
By having a Comparison Mode, users can look at individual or even dual runs in real-time. Users for instance choose their own laps or compare their performance on the lap done by a different BMW driver. To be able to compare more data, it also enables one to share track day results with their friends.
Users can even post in Twitter and Facebook especially with the social media integration. The GoPro Connectivity made available for the BMW is considered as groundbreaking and it has been designed to reduce the distraction faced by the driver. It even improves the capabilities that GoPro and “The Ultimate Driving Machine” are known for.
Aside from framing the shot through the large central screen, users are also given the option to select six pre-set camera modes. These include Drive Camera Facing In, Leisure Drive Facing Out, Night Driving, Sport Drive Facing Out, Straight Road Time-lapse, and Winding Road Time-lapse. The driver can even start and stop the RECORD function of the camera at will. It also displays important camera status indicators like the battery life, Wi-Fi signal strength, and recording elapsed time.
If the users want to extend the life of the camera’s battery in between shots, the SLEEP mode may be activated. Again, the vehicle has to be fitted with BMW Apps. After that the driver has to install the GoPro App on an iPhone that is at least a 4S.
This is also only effective device for any GoPro camera which is Wi-Fi equipped like the HERO3 or later. It can then be connected to the car using an iPhone USB cable or Accessory snap-in adaptor for iPhone in the BMW.
The App can then be accessed using the BMW ConnectedDrive menu which is shown through a trans-reflective central screen that measures up to 10.2 inches.
The on-board operating menu was designed by BMW Group Technology Office USA with the goal of streamlining the camera’s operation as well as getting complete advantage of its incorporated environment. The menu choices can be seen on the left side of the screen while the actual field of view shown by the camera is displayed in real time by the car while it is stationary.