The new generation of personal physical fitness tracking tools and apps combine Big Data with mobile and wearable technology. These apps offer users the ability to record, save, track, and monitor the various data from their workouts. Many of these apps and devices also offer users the ability to connect with other users to compare their progress and support each other.
The constant stream of user-generated data that these companies receive every day provides them with the ability to tailor their updates and apps to what people want. In addition, many of these apps integrate with other apps to expand their capabilities as well as enhance users’ experiences.
With the ubiquity of smartphones and the relatively low prices of these fitness apps and devices, these companies are putting the power of Big Data and fitness in your hands. Read on to discover the companies and apps that are shaping how we stay fit.
Companies and Apps in the Big Data and Fitness space:
All descriptions are from companies’ websites.
NikeFuel is a single, universal way to measure all kinds of activities—from your morning workout to your big night out. Uniquely designed to measure whole-body movement no matter your age, weight or gender, NikeFuel tracks your active life. The new Nike+ FuelBand SE now tracks not only how much, but also how often and how intensely you move. And it gives you real-time feedback, move reminders and insights to help you move more and move better. See your progress on the LED display at the press of a button. And with Bluetooth 4.0 you stay constantly connected, syncing the data from your band with your Nike+ account and giving you feedback and motivation as you need it.
Garmin offers GPS devices and training tools for golfing, running, cycling, and swimming, as well as multisport fitness bands. All devices have the capability to sync with Garmin Connect. With detailed readings of your time, distance, elevation, heart rate and calories burned (data depends on model) you can see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. General fitness, running, cycling, triathlons — choose your goal, and we’ll give you a day-by-day plan for success. Get social motivation! When you connect with friends, foes or pros, they can see a feed of your activities, and you can see theirs.
TomTom offers running and multisport GPS watches, as well as additional accessories to help you to track and monitor your activities. You can then upload your activities to popular running sites to track your progress and goals.
UP helps you understand how you sleep, move and eat so you can make smarter choices. The new app displays movement and sleep details from your UP24 or UP band and delivers insights, celebrates milestones, and challenges you to make each day better. Share accomplishments with friends by teaming up in the UP App.
Pact uses cash stakes to help you achieve your health goals, week after week. Make a weekly Pact to exercise more or eat healthier. Set what you’ll pay other Pact members if you don’t reach it. Use the Pact app to track your progress. Earn real cash for living healthily, paid by the members who don’t! There are 3 different types of Pacts – gym pact, veggie pact, food logging pact – to help you stay in shape, eat more veggies, and log your meals. You can choose to commit to one or all of these Pacts. We use GPS, photos and other services to keep you honest. All actions must be verified in order to count towards your Pact.
With the Fitbit app, your stats will automatically sync to select smartphones wirelessly (nothing to plug in!). See how you are tracking against your daily goals, with friends, and against your historic averages. Bring fitness into your life seamlessly with the Fitbit App. Sync your Fitbit tracker’s stats in real-time. The Fitbit app uses Bluetooth 4.0 to automatically and wirelessly sync your tracker’s* data, so you can see your latest stats, charts, and graphs on your smartphone.
[From the App Store description]: Track your runs, walks, bike rides, hikes, and more using the GPS in your iPhone. Track your fitness activities and have fun doing it. See detailed stats around your pace, distance, and time. Get stats, progress, and coaching through your headphones with built-in audio cues. Listen and control your music while you work out. Measure your heart rate with many available sensors. Take pictures along the way to share and save while you go. Measure your performance over time. View a detailed history of your activities to see how you are doing. Get notified when you hit new personal bests and milestones. Measure your progress against your goals and targets. Follow detailed plans to help you achieve specific fitness objectives. Turn any activity into a route to do again later.
MyFitnessPal, a very popular weight-loss, nutrition, and fitness app, syncs with dozens of fitness apps to provide a total fitness-tracking experience.
Moves automatically records any walking, cycling, and running you do. You can view the distance, duration, steps, and calories* burned for each activity. The activity tracker is always on, so there’s no need to start and stop it. Just keep your phone in your pocket or your bag. Moves is an automatic diary of your life. Your daily storyline and maps show where, when, and how much you move.
Using a proprietary, evidence-based algorithm that has been developed specifically with the needs of the performance athlete in mind, RxAnalytics provides actionable feedback to allow the individual to optimize training, supplementation and nutrition for maximal performance.
Strava lets you track your rides and runs via your iPhone, Android or dedicated GPS device and helps you analyze and quantify your performance. Strava provides motivation and camaraderie, and helps us prove that we’re out there doing what we love to do.
Runtastic offers products and services that all focus on gathering and managing sports data in order to motivate people to do sports and to link like-minded people. No matter if you run, cycle, walk, ski or do any other sport – Runtastic makes these activities more exciting for you – because after all, sports are supposed to be fun. All relevant sports data (elapsed time, speed, calorie consumption, heart rate) can be tracked via an app (e.g. iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, WP7) and can be uploaded directly to the Runtastic Fitness site www.runtastic.com (a social fitness community for users).
MapMyFitness is the leader in Connected Fitness – building the world’s largest community by providing interactive tools to make fitness social, simple and rewarding. Our flagship consumer brands – MapMyRun, MapMyRide, and MapMyWalk – are among the most popular apps on iOS and Android and our cloud-based platform has been supporting millions of users since we launched in 2007. MapMyFitness is an open platform, seamlessly integrating with more than 400 fitness tracking devices, sensors and wearables. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, MapMyFitness offers integrated marketing and advertising solutions, premium consumer subscription products, and a SaaS platform that helps partners of any size tap into our advanced technology, database of workouts, nutritional data, calorie calculators, and 160+ million of the best running, cycling and walking routes around the world.
Check Out These Resources for Tips and Insights on Using Big Data in Fitness:
Dave Feinleib, author of Big Data Demystified and producer of The Big Data Landscape, discusses Big Data, Ironman, and fitness: