Race Yourself Brings Fitness Gamification to Google Glass

1-13-2014 5-45-14 PM

Race Yourself, a London-based Google Glass fitness startup, has unveiled, and is now accepting pre-orders, for the companies Glass-based fitness app that allows users to measure and improve their fitness performance by embedding elements of gamification, and immersing the user in a virtual overlay that adds information and motivational animations during the workout. The company launched on a $325,000 Seed round that it raised last year, which includes $164,000 raised on UK-based crowdfunding site Crowd Cube.

Race Yourself is interesting because it approaches Google Glass from an augmented reality perspective. The app allows users to keep pace by having a perfectly timed coach run along side them, or instead will allow a runner to run amongst a herd of animated runners keeping the paces of the users previous run times. Gamification themes are intertwined throughout as well, zombie apocalypse themes and giant boulder dash games help encourage runners working on interval training.

“Exercise is incredibly good for you. Gaming is incredibly addictive and enjoyable. Our goal is make exercise incredibly addictive and enjoyable through augmented reality exercise experiences on, primarily, Google Glass.” – Alex Foster, Race Yourself co-founder.

The creators of Race Yourself are building hundreds of small games that will support different kinds of sports. Each game will contain multiple layers of challenges and engaging content that can be unlocked once users accrue enough points which are earned for being personal best times, or hitting daily exercise streaks. The company will monetize the platform by providing early unlocks for any content with payment, a common monetization strategy for many successful game-based mobile applications.

Since Google released details about what Google Glass actually was, and was not, tech experts have been criticizing the device as overhyped because it would not be capable of delivering a true augmented reality experience, which is what many assumed Google was building when rumors leaked that it was creating a headset. While this is true, engineers at Race Yourself are demonstrating that the headset is completely capable of the computing needed to deliver AR, and the only thing holding glass back from bringing automation fully into the field of vision is Glass’s display. The video above shows what a user would see in the upper corner of their glasses, an engaging real-time experience where relevant data is animated and graphically represented within the users field of vision, as close to augmented reality as any developers have created thus far.

The disconnect with Race Yourself is that the display might be too graphically engaging for users to truly focus on while exercising. Because the application is designed for runners, cyclists, snow boarders, sky divers, and other sports enthusiasts, Race Yourself’s users are likely better off keeping their eyes on reality, rather than on a small display depicting an augmented version of that reality.

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  • medright

    Agreed. Their design is very much not in tune with what Glass is. Also, their vid shows the display in the center of the user’s vision, which is certainly not what Glass is.

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