Daytona Beach (FL) - Nextel has released a new high-tech toy for Nascar fans. The company said that its Fanview device, essentially a video streaming handheld, is available for purchase.
Fanview units have been available throughout the 2006 Nascar season as rental "beta" units. It allows visitors at the track to follow the race via in-car cameras, real-time lap statistics, lap-by-lap point standings and information about positions gained or lost since the last caution.
We had a chance to have a look at the device during our track visit at the Brickyard 400 in 2006 and found that the device was easy to use, but had to deal with choppy video transmission sometimes and a screen that was not quite bright enough for direct sunlight.
The view from Jeff Burton's hood, as seen from a FanView device being tested inside the AMD suite at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Fanview isn't cheap at an online price of $370. The device can also be purchased at the track for $415. In both cases, the Fanview won't work without a "race-weekend activation," which costs another $10. Nextel will continue to offer the rental units for $50 per day or $70 per weekend.