The founders of RiderState have the novel idea of motivating you by turning your bike ride into a Foursquare-like battle to conquer territory from fellow bikers.
The Madrid, Spain-based startup hopes it will inspire people to exercise by making cycling more competitive through its geolocation game. It is one more example of gamification, or the use of game-like behavior in non-game activities to inspire people. In this case, RiderState aims to inspire people through play to take up cycling.
The company is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise money so that it can complete RiderState, a free mobile app that makes biking more social — and combative. In this case, the game board is anywhere you can ride a bike.
The design will be simple. You open the app on a smartphone with location capability. Then you ride your bike. You can attach your phone to your bike so you can see the information about the territories you are conquering. As soon as you are done, the results are there. You can see which territories you have visited the most. You can see the route you rode, and your stats show up on a map for the territories you own. If you win over a territory, you become its governor.
The Spanish startup was born in 2011. The founders include Santiago Casado, chief executive; Valentín Moreno, chief technology officer; César Martín, strategist; Leticia Olavarría; and Diego Martínez, content manager. RiderState has three full-time employees and two part-time.
“RiderState is like Foursquare for bike riders,” Casado said.
The company wants to bring the app to iOS and Android in the next three months. The company is trying to raise $24,000 on Indiegogo, and it has raised $5,413 so far. The campaign began on Dec. 16, and it ends on Feb. 7. So far, the company has raised $2,000 from friends and family. RiderState is being beta tested with more than 500 registered users in 12 countries. More than 1,600 people are awaiting invitations into the closed beta.
RiderState is using mapping technology from map maker Esri. That allows it to divide the world into grids of 10,000 square meters.
It is using cloud hosting from Gigas, and it has the support of Iberica Motorpress, the publisher of cycling publications. Rivals include Strava in cycling as well as general fitness apps and devices such as Runkeeper, Endomondo, Runtastic, and Nike+.
Casado hopes RiderState will catch on far and wide. After all, there are more than 1 billion bicycles in the world.