To meet your toughest Zwift racing competition yet, all you have to do is dim your computer screen to see them staring back.
Zwift, the immersive digital riding platform, has unveiled a host of new features to be released over the coming months, but one of the most exciting is Holographic Replay which lets you race an onscreen hologram off your own previous efforts.
The feature is still in its earlier days, so it will debut under Zwift’s FutureWorks beta testing program, but Zwift users will be able to use it while it’s in this stage. There are two hologram options to ride with: either your most recent data file or a 90-day PR — or both at the same time. Whatever you choose, a holographic version of that avatar appears on screen and precisely recreates your previous ride.
Holographic Replay has grown out of the PacePartners feature (which recently “graduated” from FutureWorks to become a regular Zwift feature) where riders can join a group ride held at a steady pace. It might just be the ultimate version of PacePartners — after all, what better thing to pace off of than a precisely recreated version of your own riding?
This isn’t the first service that allows cyclists to test their mettle against themselves. The Strava live segments feature lets riders do the same in the real world. The motivation from seeing and being able to pass your own avatar onscreen compared to looking at dots on a gps is likely very different in practice however.
From the demonstrations I have seen of the feature, it helps riders stay more alert throughout the entirety of a ride, and is enlightening for finding areas on a course where you unwittingly slow down or otherwise lag over the course of a ride.
As a kid I would spend countless hours in Mario Kart racing my “ghost files,” a replay of my personal best times around each course. I can only speak for myself, but this new feature could be just as addicting, with the added perk of making you faster.