As a geek I’m guilty of perhaps not getting as much exercise as I need. Part of the problem is finding the time but that comes down to motivation. With the wonders of this socially networked age it’s easier to use technology to help with that motivation.
The geek in me likes stats. If I know I’m doing good, and overall improving against myself or friends then I have the incentive to keep going and doing better. You can do something simple like maintaining an excel spreadsheet or twittering your workout but as someone who’s recently rediscovered cycling after 20 years in cars I’m really blown away by SportsDo. All you need is a Windows Mobile device with GPS capabilities, a data connection and … to get off the computer and get some exercise!
Your first step is to register on the SportsDo.Net website and create a profile. From there you can download and install the Windows Mobile client (other devices are supported) or you can visit their over-the-air provisioning site directly from your phone (you can try out the application before buying – you’re just limited to the distance you can cover).
You’re not limited by specific sports (and you don’t have to pre-select or choose anything up front) – when you start a new activity on your device you can choose from a predefined list (cycling, walking, canoeing, running, snowboarding, skiing, rowing, adventuring, motor-sports, horse riding and many others) or create your own profile.
Once you hit “new” on your device it starts recording GPS data so it knows where you are and how fast you are going (and from that it can calculate calories etc).
When you are exercising – be is a brisk walk or a full out cycle race – you can stop and take photos to record the even. They are, of course, geo-tagged and will be uploaded along with the rest of the data to your online diary.
Even if you don’t stop you can check the display at any time to see how far you’ve gone or how long you’ve been out. You can also choose to have any of the statistics (location, speed, distance traveled, gradient and calories burned and others) announced via your phones speakers or headphones.
You can choose to share your stats live (if you have a phone with a data plan and coverage) and there is also an option to automatically text buddies with updates.
Once you complete an activity you can edit the description and upload it (with any photos) to the web where you can then share with friends – including a Virtual Earth animation of the trail you took (shows relative speeds), synchronized to graphs showing gradients and speed. An example of the sort details and an animation of one of my recent cycle rides.
If you are going on an activity in an area you might not know that well SportsDo also have Location Packs available. These contain details of trails, restaurants and other amenities, ski lifts etc. The packs are continually updated as information about an area improves, and the packs cover many popular resorts.
As well as documenting your sporting prowess you can use SportsDo to tell friends and family where you are (similar to the option for Navizon users). You can even embed the information in your blog if you want to share that much ;)