A few weeks ago I wrote about TrafData's new iPhone/iPad turning movement count app (here). We bought our iPhones and have been testing out TurnCount. The short review – it works and is significantly cheaper than the count boards currently on the market. If I was starting my company from scratch, I'd purchase iPod Touch's and put this app on them instead of buying count boards that cost two to five times this new solution.
Some of my issues:
- The software only does turning movement counts. Some of our Jamar count boards can be used for other types of data collection such as gap studies, saturation flow rates, etc. This isn't a huge issue for us – roughly 99.95% of our manual data collection is turning movement counts.
- You double tap when you want a movement to be tallied as a heavy vehicle. We inadvertently did this when we didn't mean too. I'd like to be able to toggle this feature off because we don't collect heavy vehicle data with most of our counts.
- The "end" count button is in the middle of the screen and works with a single push. We'd like a longer duration on this button (i.e. you have to hold it down for five seconds) because we accidentally stopped our counts a couple of times.
- The time/power bar on the iPhone (on the right side of the above picture) slightly gets in the way of counting on the leg of the intersection where it's located.
Gary Shoup with TrafData
has been very responsive to my questions. He also let me know about a couple of issues they've run into with their testing:
- An iPad overheated in 90 degree weather before a three hour count
could be completed.
- A 2nd generation iPod Touch with 8 gb of storage locked up with
about 5,300 data events in it.
The great thing about TurnCount is that it's software and Gary is already working on several of these issues. I believe my four issues above will be dealt with in later versions of the software. There may be some hardware issues (i.e. overheating) that will need to be compensated for, but I've had count boards break on me too.
We're fans of the Hyper Interface where you make a swiping motion on the screen with your thumbs. This works great on our iPhones. I'm not sure the larger iPad would be an improvement. It's easy to hold the iPhone/iPod Touch in your hands.
This is a great product for our industry. I hope you'll go out and buy it so TrafData makes some money. I want them to keep improving the app. Hats off to Gary and TrafData!