Going Going Bike

Oct 272011
 
Photo credit: Fixed Gear London Blog

As anyone who has played Mario Kart on the Nintendo will testify, one of the fun elements of the game is to try and beat your mates’ times in a time trial around one of the courses. A phone app that is currently in beta mode is attempting to mimic this experience by turning your physical ride/run/skate into an interactive video game.

The phone app, which is called Dash!, allows a user to  create, participate, and compete asynchronously on custom made courses out on the streets at any time.

So if a race route is created and logged in by one user, other people using the app (friends or strangers) will be able to race that route Mario Kart style to see if they can beat someone or a leader’s time on that route whenever they want.

GPS

The app uses a phone’s GPS system to record data for any given route. This includes logging in start and finish points for a route as well timing for any given route when a user takes the challenge of competing on a course. The app for instance stops timing automatically when you go past the finish point.

Rewards

Points are awarded for various times, wins, challenges as it is in any video game. Naturally, there are also leaderboards for any given route, while fail conditions are also built into the app with checkpoint times. A user can also wager currency on any given route he competes with his friends.

The idea for Dash! comes from US company Explorence. The company specialises in developing mobile games that can be replicated as a real life activity.

Getting fit

The greater aim for Dash! is to change people’s behaviour towards getting fitter by getting them involved in physical activity in a fun way. Introducing a natural element of competition and racing only adds to the fun and get’s you working harder on your ride.

“We believe in competition.  For example with Dash!, users compete in races asynchronously.  The challenge is the structure of the competition.  If the leaders are too far ahead of the pack, the game risks alienating the average player.  On the other hand, if the challenge is too easy, players will get bored and lose interest,” Mike Suprovici , Co-Founder and CEO of Explorence told the PSFK blog.

The app is currently available in private beta on the Android platform with an iPhone and Android app due for launch soon.

Photo credit: Fixed Gear London

See also

Bicycling robot mimics human movement

Bicycle wins Bristol commuter race

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