Making GPS capable virtual running events app for athletes
Enabling running and cycling semi-professionals to participate in virtual marathon events with the help of GPS technology. The app allowed athletes to see their locations on a map in real-time, track their performance and participate in virtual events. Any one from the community could also host their own events and earn healthy commission. Even without any event, the app still allowed athletes to track their performance on their own.
GPS enabled Mobile app with Training, Virtual Events & Wearable integration
UI/UX Consulting, Product Strategy, Mobile Application Development, Cloud Engineering, Software Testing annd QA.
Kotlin, Swift, PHP, PostgreSQL, AWS
Professional athlete with a vision to enable athletes to compete with each other without geographical boundaries.
As a professional long distance runner and award winning marathon runner, the client had a vision to build an app that would allow any athlete to create virtual events and earn from it. It would not only allow athletes to participate in global events and compete against other athletes, it will also allow them to earn as a side hustle. As a platform by athletes for athletes, the platform kept minimum fees for itself while maximum revenue was shared by the athletes.
While the app started for running, it evolved to support cycling, indoor support for treadmill running and other sports like swimming as well.
Real-time GPS support for all kinds of mobile devices
We released the first version of the app for all kinds of devices with core features like real-time GPS support. Data from the GPS not only helped us track and mark waypoints on a map, it also helped generate other data like distance travelled, speed, elevation, etc.
With early user feedback, it became clear very soon that due to hardware restrictions, GPS behaved differently in different mobile phones. Some flagship level phones had good GPS sensors while other phones did not have an accurate GPS. We built custom algorithms and utilized other sensors available on device to mitigate this challenge and provide accurate GPS data.
Stunning mobile app with advanced engineering to enable complete experience for athletes
Real-time GPS tracking: The app has real-time GPS tracking for athletes to track and waypoints on a map and match it with their performance in different runs. Virtual event owners can also import GPX files as maps for all tournament runners.
Performance Tracking: Runners and cyclists could track their performance data like calories burnt, distance travelled, speed, elevation etc. Not only that, they can also access and export historical data to improve their performance.
Free and Paid Virtual Events: Athletes could create and host free as well as paid virtual events for running as well as cycling. Each event would generate its leaderboard and automatically notify the winners of their winning position.
Training Module: Apart from the virtual events; when not participating in events, athletes could also run training sessions and track their performance in real-time. The training screen would speak at every mile/km and inform them about their speed.
Milestones and Badges: To motivate athletes while running and cycling, the app speaks (speech) motivational words and tells them about their progress. On completing certain milestones, the app also gave motivational badges.
Support for Wearables like Apple Watch and Garmin Devices: From early on, we decided to provide support for hardware that would enrich the performance data for an athlete. Therefore, we integrated with wearable devices.
Anti-cheating real-time GPS tracking features
Being primarily used for virtual running or cycling events, the app used to frequently get its fair share of fraudsters who would try to game the system and technology to gain undue advantage over other participants. This would not only demotivate others but also put the app in a bad light. Therefore, we invested heavily in building anti-cheating algorithms that make it harder to cheat in events.
The app would easily identify if an athlete is not running at the idea speed for running and cycling events and prompt the athlete while stopping the data recording. The app would also identify if an athlete has taken a detour or short-cut towards the destination. These were some of the advanced anti-cheating algorithms we had in place.
An app built by athletes for athletes
The app had a resounding success on launch. Athletes around the globe sent their feedback and started conducting their own virtual events in the app. Our leaderboard was constantly updating and abuzz with new challangers trying to reach the top spot.
Feedback driven mobile app
- Allows any athlete to create paid or free virtual events.
- Training module helps athletes train and track their performance on a real-time map.
- Provided detailed performance metrics to athletes.
- While running, the artificial speech engine alerted athletes about completing goals.
- App kept athletes motivated with badges.
- Social media integrationn allowed athletes to post their run results on Facebook and Twitter.
- Integration with wearable devices like apple watch and Garmin watches allowed the app to use calibrated data.
- Compatibility with GPX files allowed contest owners to setup predefined running path on a map.