F1 Vision

F1 Vision disappears again, one year after return

2019 F1 season

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Formula 1 has stopped offering F1 Vision devices to fans one year after bringing back the product, which was previously called FanVision.

The handheld devices were offered for rental by spectators at most races last year. F1 Vision offered live video feeds during the event and allowed users to listen to drivers’ radio messages.

An F1 Vision representative confirmed to RaceFans they would “only doing select financially viable races this year” and that at present a deal had only been agreed for the United States Grand Prix.

F1 Vision was offered to fans under the FanVision name in 2011 and 2012. A Formula 1 spokesperson confirmed it is looking into alternatives to the product.

“In 2018 we brought Fan Vision on board under the F1 Vision brand aiming to enhance the experience of our F1 race attendees,” said F1 in a statement issued to RaceFans. “With its improved technology and enhanced operation system we fulfilled thousands of clients.

“During this period we have gathered very interesting intel from ours fans towards the product itself and have come to an agreement that we won’t offer the F1 Vision product during the 2019 season.

“We are planning on restructuring this offer and working towards the next generation product companion for race attendees. Different options are being looked at around better connectivity at tracks, prioritising usage of smart phones ahead of external devices.”

RaceFans understands various alternatives are under consideration, one of which is the Vogo Sport platform. Instead of requiring dedicated hardware, Vogo delivers footage from events to users’ mobile devices.

The company demonstrated its technology at a Formula E round in 2017:

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 22 comments on “F1 Vision disappears again, one year after return”

    1. I wouldn’t mind to be used as a test subject of the Vogo platform together with a samsung fold.

      1. Rearrange the words: ‘on‘ and ‘dream‘ into a well-known phrase or saying… ;-)

        1. No armed?

          1. And more?

            1. One dram?

        2. BlackJackFan
          17th April 2019, 2:48

          Hahaha – you guys are too clever for me… It says rearrange the “words”…!
          But I think Juan Fanger wins… lol.

    2. Scott Hampton
      16th April 2019, 17:05

      I loved FanVision when I was at the ’11 British GP. Mobile reception was dire and you really don’t get a great idea of the race progress from the grand stand boards.

      The quote “During this period we have gathered very interesting intel from ours fans towards the product itself and have come to an agreement that we won’t offer the F1 Vision product during the 2019 season.”

      They took feedback from fans, and decided not to enter into 2019…. sounds like the product wasn’t fit for purpose, but I can’t see how you could do better? Maybe it’s a commercial thing where nobody can afford to put a working solution together?

      1. Depending of how much the device rental costs you might just end up paying a one month subscription to f1tv pro app for the same service.

        1. No point. At Silverstone for instance the mobile network crashes during the race.
          fanvision uses a local dedicated multicast radio so keeps going.

          Shame it’s gone .

    3. Tried to reserve one for the Canadian GP this year. They took the reservation and then cancelled a few weeks later. Hoping they’ll be available onsite but not holding my breath after seeing this article.

      Vogo is an interesting idea. They’d need a hell of a 802.11 implementation to do it properly, considering race attendance numbers. Or do they expect me to chew through my carrier data? No thanks.

    4. Hey, Liberty, how about fixing F1 TV Pro with its dreadful 45-60 seconds delay, AND offer some nice devices with this service installed?..

      1. @dallein there is always going to be a delay with a streaming service, it’s unavoidable currently. new tech is coming in that reduced the delay but since it’s fairly new it will be a few years before it becomes more common i guess.

        the sky sports ipad app was about 30+ seconds behind the tv feed, as was the bbc’s when they had f1 coverage and the story is similar when i was in the us.
        and the same is true when you look at other categories that offer streaming, the indycar app streams onboard cameras and that’s 30 seconds behind the tv feed, same with formula e, drtm, wec, imsa, wrc and more.

    5. It’s predecessor was called Kangaroo TV, back in 2008. I remember following Massa’s times at the Hungarian GP that year. How exciting was that, seeing him building up a nice lead. And how heartbreaking was to see the smoke…

      1. 10-4 re.: “Kangaroo” … used at the Hungaroring plus other European venues that i have forgotten. Sometimes (often? returning it was inconvenient …

    6. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
      16th April 2019, 19:58

      So much for F1 ‘Vision’- I’ve never heard of it!

    7. Huge shame, I got one of these for the Austrian GP last year and it was an excellent addition to the weekend. Having access to raw radio feeds was particularly welcome, as was commentary for the support races.

      Belgium the year before was at a huge loss without it as the trackside commentary was 90% french and 10% english (understandable!), but with terrible 4G signal we struggled to get an english commentary stream online that wasn’t 5mins behind the action.

      Heading to Budapest this year and will now have to look at pirate streams I guess!

    8. Been to several GPs, and used all the iterations of Kangaroo, Fanvision and F1 vision. the years in between Fanvision and the new service were painful without the valuable information. Team communication and almost no lag on the video were incredible. All the other stuff using wifi or internet or 4G/LTE are always crappy in this sort of environment. They could work if you are at home, but good luck at a track when sometimes receiving a call or sending a text is hard enough.

      Hope F1 changes their mind and realise the potential of the product.

    9. F1 Fizzle ?

      1. F1 Vision Fizzle ?

    10. Enjoyed this at the British Grand Prix last year. It was pricey, and the device did run out of battery each day (you could swap for a fully-charged unit easily though), but it was awesome for adding the context you normally miss when trackside.

    11. I saw it at Budapest last year but didn’t get one as it was hopelessly expensive. If I recall correctly, I could almost have bought another general admission ticket for the price of hiring one for the weekend. Even though my phone was no use whatsoever as a “race companion” and never would have been (it’s a feature phone, its biggest feature is that it is purple), I still couldn’t justify getting the dedicated device.

      Giving me the PA commentary on the radio stream, that could be picked up with a FM or MW radio, would have been fine for me (Budapest’s was 2/3 Hungarian and 1/3 English, largely because it seemed to take twice as long to say anything in Hungarian as it did in English), and far less expensive for F1 because circuits often have frequencies already for their lesser-known series. (I appreciate this would not have helped Dave one iota). Also note: many mobile phones can pick up FM transmissions without needing anything so complex as an app or data allowance.

      An app sounds like a good long-term move, but I’m not sure the hardware infrastructure side of the equation is uniformally there yet for the amount of information Kangaroo/F1 Vision carried.

    12. Tried it at USGP in 2012, it never worked so I asked for and received a refund. This news only surprises me in that I wonder why it took so long to fail.

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