Zwift recently published their “This Season On Zwift” (TSOZ) press release summarizing plans for new Zwift features through the end of 2022. And while that press release gives some high-level details of upcoming features, we like to dig a little deeper here at Zwift Insider.
This is one in a series of individual posts discussing specific upcoming features in more depth.
Race Your Past Efforts
This may be the most exciting feature in Zwift’s TSOZ announcement, so it’s where we’ll begin.
Launching as a FutureWorks feature, Holographic Replays are the first iteration of a feature Zwifters have long requested: the ability to ride against your past efforts.
The main settings window will give you the option of showing:
- a hologram of your most recent effort on a segment
- a hologram of your best effort (90 day PR) on that segment
- no hologram replay at all
This is how it looks in game:
Notice how your hologram shows as an entry in the rider list and includes your PR time and the segment name.
At launch this feature will only be available on segments that include a leaderboard: all timed KQOMs (including Alpe du Zwift!), sprints, and these full routes:
- Innsbruck: 2018 UCI Worlds Short Lap
- London: London Loop
- Makuri Islands: Flatland Loop
- New York: Park Perimeter Loop
- Paris: Champs-Élysées
- Richmond: 2015 UCI Worlds Course
- Watopia: Hilly Route
- Yorkshire: 2019 UCI Worlds Harrogate Circuit
Your hologram is not draftable, and it is only visible to you. Holographic replays will only be available during free rides, including Pace Partner groups.
If you’ve ever tried to chase a Strava PR outdoors using data from your head unit, you may have experienced the annoyance of time tracking that isn’t based on the actual GPS data from your previous activity.
Zwift’s Holographic Replays avoids this by actually replaying your previous activity based on saved activity data which even includes your left-right location on the road. (That’s right: if you had steering enabled, your hologram will even replay your steering movements.) So when you’re chasing your PR on Watopia’s Hilly Route, your hologram will reflect the precise speeds you hit when going hard up the Hilly KOM and supertucking down the backside.
If you blew up at turn 4 on your previous Alpe du Zwift attempt, your hologram will do the same. Knowing this, you can pace yourself a bit behind your hologram until turn 4, where you will (hopefully) have the legs to overtake your previous self and set a new personal best.
Here’s another video showing a FutureWorks Holographic Replays on Richmond’s 2015 UCI Worlds Course:
This ability to race yourself sets up fun training scenarios. Two examples:
- Hill repeats on a particular KQOM, trying for negative splits (going faster on each subsequent attempt)
- Sprint training on a particular sprint segment, figuring out how to optimize your entry speed and powerup usage for the fastest possible time.
Zwift isn’t giving any official release date for FutureWorks Holographic Replays, but we know it’s slated for release by the end of the year since it was included in TSOZ.
Based on what we’re hearing from inside ZwiftHQ (employees have been testing and raving about the new feature for weeks), we’re guessing this will be released in September or October.
Just The Beginning
FutureWorks Holographic Replays are launching with solid functionality that will be welcomed by all Zwifters. But what else could be done with Holographic Replays? We have a few ideas:
- Include the ability to race your lifetime PR, not just 90-day
- Be able to race against some else’s hologram. What if a pro rode a particular route solo, then Zwifters as a group could race that pro’s hologram in an event? What if you could race your friend’s hologram?
- Have personal holograms available for all routes, not just those tracked on a leaderboard
We’re confident that Zwift will build out the feature set of FutureWorks Holographic Replays as time goes on like they’ve done with Pace Partners.
There are lots of nuances to this feature, so if you have further questions we recommend reading Zwift’s Holographic Replay FAQ.
Questions or Comments?