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Mobile fitness tracking application Endomondo launched additional features geared toward making a social network for cardio training today and announced that it has raised $800,000 in a seed funding round at the CTIA Wireless 2011 conference in Orlando, Fla.
It’s one of a new series of applications that are trying to turn fitness into a game by giving users the chance to compete with friends and earn points for their fitness achievements, such as Runmeter and Nike GPS+. Endomondo tracks runs, cycling circuits and other cardio exercises and records distance, time and a few other health elements. Users can then see how they match up with their friends through the app’s network.
The company added voice feedback to the application, it announced today. The voice-over tells users how far they have run and, if they are competing, tells them how much faster or further they have to go to beat their friends.
The company is also adding a “social support” feature, which lets other Endomondo users cheer on their friends with short messages through the application. The idea is to use the application to encourage people to workout harder and faster — although I would probably find myself using that feature to trash talk the competition as much as possible.
I’m a big fan of cardio-tracking applications because they gives me the opportunity to post times whenever I break a personal record. But more importantly, they let me brag to people whenever I lay a solid beat-down on a previous record-holder for a running circuit. Earning points for being healthy is great, but the biggest opportunity for these applications lies in creating competitions amongst users — that by itself will inspire runners and cyclists to push themselves even harder.
Endomondo launched in November 2007. The application is currently available on Android devices but will launch on the iPhone in the next few months, said Endomondo founder Mette Lykke.
Thanks to Sprint, which is sponsoring VentureBeat’s coverage from this week’s CTIA conference. Learn more about Sprint, the Now Network, here. As always, VentureBeat is adamant about maintaining editorial objectivity. Sprint had no involvement in the content of this post.
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