I've recently come across a great Android app called CardioTrainer. This app serves as coach/motivator, and has includes a training module, a weight watching module and a calorie tracking module. There is even a game and Facebook integration if you require additional motivation. Unlike most other solutions I've seen, it is all beautifully integrated and very easy to use. While watch-based training systems are good for sports, I feel that they have so far been lacking a good tie into the health/weight management side. I did have a Polar watch a few years ago which tied into a web application to do this, but unfortunately my watch got stolen and the web site shut down. As you really need to consider both exercise and what you eat to lose weight effectively, an integrated solution is really what is needed. And as anybody who has tried to lose weight knows, motivation is really the key, and this is where having constant reminders on a device like a smart phone is very useful.
So why do I mention this on a BLE blog? Well, good as it is, I think that Bluetooth low energy support could enhance this app even further. Today, CardioTrainer does support a Bluetooth-based heart-rate strap from Polar, but with BLE, it could go even further by automating weight measurement as well as improving the battery life of the heart rate monitor. Thus, I think it proves a point that great apps can become even better by connecting them wirelessly to sensors and other peripherals.
One key take-away is that it was the app that really got me going in this case. I think this applies to other areas as well. The main part of the user experience lies in the app. This means that device manufacturers need to put at least as much effort (if not more) into their software development as they do in developing the hardware devices. This may be a change of mindset for some, but I believe it is vital to succeed in a world where apps form the core of the user experience (for another example, it looks to me that the Kindle apps for Android, iOS and so on are probably more important to Amazon than the Kindle hardware device is).
If you have any comments, questions or if you violently disagree with my view, I would love to hear from you.
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