DRE 2022 – Alpha access opens now!
What is DRE 2022?
DRE 2022 is a revolution and a brand new standalone iRacing spotter application featuring
- Built-in voice recognition
- Text-To-Speech output
- Radio communication effects
- So much more!
It’s built from the ground up, by leveraging years of improvements from DRE3. DRE 2022 now contains everything needed to run DRE as a sim-racing spotter. In other words, there’s no longer a need to download an additional app (VoiceAttack) just to try and use DRE.
Why a new app?
Since Digital Race Engineer’s inception back in 2015 (!) it’s always relied on VoiceAttack as its motor to drive the recognition and speech synthesis. Using VoiceAttack has been successful as it’s a fairly straightforward app that does the job needed.
However, there are quite some annoyances as well. See my latest YouTube video below on why a change is needed
Why DRE Goes Standalone
Current DRE3 issues:
- Want to trial DRE3? You need a purchased VoiceAttack just to do that
- Want to improve the voice quality? You need to purchase aging TTS engines, which are not that easy to come by, and in their nature limited in terms of realism
- Want to get started with DRE3? Too many steps to get going from installing, configuring VoiceAttack, then doing the same for DRE3
- Want to update DRE3? Remember to update both the plugin and import a new profile
The existing way of doing things has been okay-ish for skilled users, but for any casuals just wanting to dip their toes in the DRE3 universe, the learning curve is too steep.
The main goal of the new standalone DRE is to remove all these obstacles and let users simply download, install & go: This is now possible with DRE 2022. Check out the video to see other reasons for this change (and new features).
What about VoiceAttack?
Existing DRE3 users can continue on that version forever with VoiceAttack. I will long-term support DRE3 for 1 year, should there be any fixes needed. As long as iRacing and Windows keep their overall platform APIs steady, DRE3 should be golden for some years to come.
Switching to the new standalone DRE 2022, there’s still a great way to use VoiceAttack to extend DRE, just like before. Now, however, it’s actually even better. I’ve exposed hundreds of variables, events, and commands via the new DRE Lynx API, that you can use/call in VoiceAttack. This means you can author your own VoiceAttack profile and simply call the Lynx plugin which communicates with DRE. More integrations with other apps are planned. See the video for more info on Lynx.
How do I get started?
Do you want to help out making DRE 2022 ready for launch? Apply for Alpha access right here:
For now, I’m looking for a few sim-racers to chip off the hard edges, before increasing the number of alpha users for a finer polish.
Alpha is the stage of development, where I’m still adding launch version features, and you’ll experience quite some bugs. Sounds great? Applying might let you get to download it and have your say on the initial launch version coming later this year.
I will touch on topics like new features, pricing, roadmap, and much more in later videos and newsletters so stay tuned.
I’m really excited about DRE 2022, and I hope you’ll like it.