Moves, the free app that landed in the iOS store few days back is for those of you who don’t have the disposable income or the obsessiveness of a Quantified Self devotee to try every single smart pedometer out there like the Fuelband, Fitbit or Jawbone Up.
Using just your iPhone, it can track the number of steps you’ve taken per day, and where and when you’ve driven or cycled.
I’ve never used it, true, because, i dont own an iPhone. But according to dude at TechCrunch, they have and it manages to pick up about 6 hours worth of strenuous hiking.
Moves is from a Finnish startup called ProtoGeo Oy, which is co-founded by gaming veteran Sampo Karjalainen, who co-founded Habbo Hotel-maker Sulake. He’s a designer by trade that partnered with mathematician and scientist Juho Pennanen to create the company. Another co-founder is Nokia veteran Jukka Partanen.
Karjalainen says he’s aiming for a much wider demographic than the one that goes out and spends about $150 on the Nike FuelBand.
“The fact that you have to charge and carry one more device is quite a big behavior change for people in the first place,” he said. “We think this very casual, mainstream approach to physical activity tracking could work better.”
He added, “There are a lot of people who don’t get enough exercise. It’s not that they don’t want to live in a more healthy way,” he said. “Many of them have grown up in a way where they don’t feel like exercise is part of their identity.”
He said the technical challenge of using the accelerometer to recognize the activity automatically without draining the batteries was quite hard.
With the design, Karjalainen said he wanted the app to resemble a daily journal. It’s elegant looking, with spheres at the top representing how much you’ve walked, cycled or driven. Then there’s a vertical timeline below that shows all the stops you’ve made.
“If you just make something visible, people react to it and become mindful of it,” he said. Later on, he expects to add other motivational loops on top of the timeline and tools for setting daily or weekly goals.
Note: If you prance around the house or do martial arts, the app wont pick that up as a step. So walk the line.