Fitness-tracking app Runtastic is harnessing this fascination/narcissism with physical achievement by teaming up with Google Earth to provide 3D footage that can be played back and shared.
The technology collects GPS data while you traverse a marathon course, ski down a mountain, or cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge. It also works for leisurely strolls through a park (high heart rates are not required for the app to function).
After you finish working out, a 3D video will reflect your journey. If your motivation is to impress coworkers with your physical prowess, send it around the company email chain. If your goal is to remember the exquisite flower fields you biked past on vacation, save it with your trip photos.
“We saw that running, cycling, and outdoor sport activities could be more interesting than only seeing a number at the end,” said CEO Florian Gschwandtner. “You can’t share your experience with data, you need images. It becomes a memory.”
Runtastic is a popular free app that tracks sports data like elapsed time, average speed, calorie consumption, and heart rate while exercising. The collected information can be uploaded to the site, as well as shared on social networks.
There are more apps in this area than miles in a marathon — MapMyRun, Endomondo, AllSport GPS, Fitness Pro, SmartRunner, Nike + GPS, and SparkPeople to name a few. Runtastic is doing well in this particular race, however. It recently hit the 10 million download mark and became cash flow positive.
Like true athletes, the founders are fueled by competition. They strove to distinguish themselves from the pack by continuing to innovate and develop technology. This latest feature is available under the Runtastic Pro app for Android, which costs $4.
Runtastic was founded in October 2009 and has never received institutional investment.
If you haven’t started training for the next Olympics, there is no time like the present.