Quick review of SimHat by rkApps (deveoper of XPRealistic) that deserves to be the best alternative to more expensive infrared trackers on the market
It’s the wish of all the iOS users without enough money to buy a TrackIR. For Android addicts is way simpler to set up a good head tracker while it’s too difficult for Apple’s devices owners. SimHAt is the latest demonstration of the cleverness of RK, that also developed XPRealistic.
Roy is quite a certainity as everything he released was mentioned and reviews by almost any blogger or similar X-Plane addicted on every site or facebook group, and that’s my turn.
I found this application by chance, as I didn’t really know the existance of such a thing. I built a decent Android head tracker latest summer based my old htc One S, that was quite accurated, but nothing compared to an original TrackIR. So I gave up on my project in September since I found out my mouse was a lot more confortable, at least until yesterday when I bought this application.
The app has a price of 9.99$ on the USA store but it costs 10.19€ on the italian one (more expensive), and you can buy it here. I think this didn’t happen by author choice, but by Apple’s policy. Of course it has also an official site, with a forum and a customer care that are simply excellent. I had some issues yesterday by installing and using SimHat but in less than 2 hours I sorted it out with Roy’s help.
Once I could connect the app to X-Plane 11 (it works also with the v10 and with FSX/P3D), I built a quick support using an old cover for my iPhone 6S plus, you can see the broken corner, and a hat I got in my wardrobe for ages. The cover is arranged to the visor with a bit of biadhesive tape and hot glue to stabilize it.
To know how it works you can just visit the “Manual” page of the site, all you need is X-Plane and your ipV4 address. I’d focus more on the experience you can get with this tracker.
Without the mediation of any other program between your phone/tablet and X-Plane the smoothness is wonderful, but you need to find the best setup with the sliders of the app for every single axis. This ensure you the best possible quality that, obviously, depends a lot on your hardware and field of view.
As soon as you are in X-Plane you feel the difference between the mouse and SimHat, adding realism and immersion. I advice you to enable the TrackIR option both on X-Plane’s rendering options and on XPRealistic panel to get the best experience you get. To be fair, the best experience requires X-Camera that I don’t use, but if I was you I’d give it a chance.
Despite the great quality and the utility, for me greater than the one provided by XPTracker, this app seems not to be so famous, but it should be at least for the ones not using VR or other infrared tracking systems. Anyway it clearly deserves the 5 stars on the App Store (even if it misses the zoom feature) while the Android version is under development.
I leave you with this demostration video recorded directly by the developer, you can find it on the official site.
I want to clarify that this review it’s totally independent since the developer did not influence my judge neither he provided me the material reviewed.
Do you enjoy X-Plane? Are you experienced enough to help members? Are you a newbie looking for help? As long as you breath and use X-Plane feel free to join XPD facebook group.