• Review: SmoothTrack

    SmoothTrack Review

    By Stuart McGregor

    SmoothTrack

    Introduction

    If you are looking for a head tracking tool to supplement your flying experience in X-Plane 11, then SmoothTrack by John Goering may just be the thing for you.

    SmoothTrack uses your mobile phone camera to track your head movements and requires no other hardware to get you up and running. So, if you are looking for a simple and easy to use head tracking system, read on.

    Purchase, Download, Documentation And Installation

    To use SmoothTrack you will need a mobile phone with a camera, in my case an iPhone X, the SmoothTrack app which you can download via the relevant online store, (both IOS and Android platforms supported), and the freeware OpenTrack software which is available via GitHub.

    SmoothTrack

    SmoothTrack will run within the native X-Plane environment with no further add ons, however in my tests I found the level of smoothness was increased when X-Camera was installed. As I mentioned, you don't need it, however if you have X-Camera, I believe you will find the app runs better and the end user experience is enhanced somewhat.

    The app itself costs US$9.99, and as mentioned the OpenTrack software is free.

    According to the information and instructions provided by the developer, the app is designed to run with any game or simulator that supports FreeTrack or TrackIR, however my tests here are purely with X-Plane 11.50.

    Installation of the system is relatively straight forward, and instructions are provided at the app store, and you can be up and running in a few minutes. In saying that, I did have a few teething problems at first, however I believe these were more to do with the limited instructions for X-Plane specifics and my own lack of understanding, rather than anything to do with the app itself. One thing I do want to stress though, was the willingness of John the developer to assist all my queries and questions. He was extremely helpful, supportive and quick to respond, even to the simplest and most basic of questions. Great support and clearly someone who believes in his product.

    SmoothTrack

    One basic mistake I made was that I did not click 'Enable TrackIR & TrackHat view tracking in 3D cockpit' in the Graphics menu in X-Plane at first, as this was not specifically mentioned in the installation instructions. Once I worked that out, all was well. In addition, when I had X-Camera installed this was no longer required and using the TrackIR function in X-Camera did the same thing. Make sure that you do not have both switched on though, as you will experience juddering of the screen.

    The developer has also created a short video on You Tube which is extremely helpful and worth watching before you start:

    Tags: app, smoothtrack

    14 Comments
    1. zangg's Avatar
      zangg -
      Is there a similar thing for a pc with a camera?
    1. aslsw's Avatar
      aslsw -
      Quote Originally Posted by zangg View Post
      Is there a similar thing for a pc with a camera?
      There is an app called "View Tracker" for MSFS that uses your PC webcam. I have it, but I'll admit that it's taking a while to get the settings just where I like them.
    1. macman1112's Avatar
      macman1112 -
      I have used AITrack (https://github.com/AIRLegend/aitrack) and I must say it works pretty good. No need for connecting with a mobile phone over a network.
      This app is till in alpha but for me it works.
    1. PauloG01's Avatar
      PauloG01 -
      There is one called AITRACK, its free and you can use it with a web cam or with a smartphone.
    1. zangg's Avatar
      zangg -
      Many thanks to all, I'll try AIRTtrack with XP11
    1. gt401964's Avatar
      gt401964 -
      I can hardly hear his voice in the video.
    1. LeonZitron's Avatar
      LeonZitron -
      works like a charm, this is outstanding :-)
    1. SpookyDiver's Avatar
      SpookyDiver -
      I bought Smooth track for my Android and also bought View Tracker through Steam. I love Smooth track, it works extremely well. I have to say that for me, I like View Tracker better not just because it uses my web cam, but because I can set "dead zones" which allows me to "lock" the view once I get close enough on the screen. This is very helpful when you are trying to interact with the planes' dashboard. What surprised me is the fact that the author of View Track uses a customized version of open track. I had to set the sensitivity way down (80%) because it is very sensitive. I am using an HD webcam, but the app works better if you leave it at the default resolution (640 x 30 FPS) and move the webcam closer to you. I use a windshield cell phone adapter that has a telescopic arm I can adjust. The suction cup stick 100% to my Honeycomb Yoke.
    1. kpfriess's Avatar
      kpfriess -
      i have Norton on my computer and cant adjust the firewall permissions correctly for the program to work...any one know how to do this?
    1. jridge's Avatar
      jridge -
      Is SmoothTrack a 3 or 6 degree of freedom head tracker?
    1. SpookyDiver's Avatar
      SpookyDiver -
      After using Smooth track and View Tracker for awhile now, I decided to take advantage of the Holidays shopping season and buy the real thing (Trackir 5 Pro) because while these two work ok, I don't like having to keep my lights on in my room while flying at night, it gets me out of the mood. We spend thousands of dollars to get a PC to run FS2020 and hundreds of dollars more for yokes, quadrants, rudders, etc, To me it is reasonable to spend another $169 for something that will make the simulation more realistic.
    1. anaismith's Avatar
      anaismith -
      consider https://www.trackhat.org/ it is wireless heavy duty (i.e not as fragile as the TrackIR) and imho better. I have both.
    1. SpookyDiver's Avatar
      SpookyDiver -
      Quote Originally Posted by anaismith View Post
      consider https://www.trackhat.org/ it is wireless heavy duty (i.e not as fragile as the TrackIR) and imho better. I have both.
      Thanks. Already ordered the Trackir 5 with the Pro Clip and is getting delivered in two days. I saw that site, and decided to go with the Trackir 5 since it's been in the market for many years and had several hardware revisions, including the Proclip and software.
    1. BruceAThompson's Avatar
      BruceAThompson -
      Quote Originally Posted by macman1112 View Post
      I have used AITrack (https://github.com/AIRLegend/aitrack) and I must say it works pretty good. No need for connecting with a mobile phone over a network.
      This app is till in alpha but for me it works.
      I saw your link and tried this. I must say, works pretty good for a free app.
      Good install directions too.

      [youtube]1B2dlzTlpus[youtube]
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