AirTracks replaces metal video sliders with a light, inflatable track
By Dave LeClair
October 22, 2012
An important part of any serious videographer's gear is a quality slider. It allows them to get smooth tracking shots, without having to set up railway-like tracks on the ground. Most sliders – such as the mobislyder, GlideTrack, Rhino Slider and RigWheels system – are made from rigid components that can be awkward to carry. AirTracks is designed to combat this issue by offering the same features as other sliders, but in a lightweight, inflatable package.
According to Tom Baker, the creator of AirTracks, another one of its advantages is the fact that it can be set up anywhere. Because it's soft and flexible, it can go on terrain that a rigid metal slider cannot. This opens up possibilities for tracking shots that amateur videographers would otherwise not be able to get.
The device is designed to support the weight of even the largest DSLR cameras, but it also works with smaller devices like point-and-shoots and cell phones – it can support a weight of up to eight pounds (3.6 kg). It opens up to five feet (1.5 meters), so it should be long enough for most shots.
Inflating AirTracks looks to be pretty quick and painless. All that's needed is a couple of breaths blown into the valve, and then a few squeezes of the built-in pump. Because it's light, however, it could blow around in the wind. To address that, grommets that work with standard tent stakes are included, to hold the track to the ground in windy conditions.
A dolly for holding the camera is also included, so all that is needed is the camera itself. The dolly and track are small enough to carry around easily, so video producers can carry them anywhere they go, including on an airplane without any hassle from airport security.
Baker and his team are seeking funding on Kickstarter. The money will be used for the molds to build the dolly and the inflatable track. The goal is US$20,000, and it is currently sitting at around $13,000. A complete AirTracks kit is $250 with the early backers special. Those are almost gone, and once they are, the price will go up to $275.
The video below shows the AirTracks in action.