Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Nokia Sports Tracker


I remember when I was little and my mother wanted me to go get some eggs in the store or just have me run off some excess energy. First I would not be so enthusiastic, "why don't you do it", or "no I don't feel like it" I would say. But then my mother uttered the magical words which would, without exception, cause me to dart of in my maximum velocity. The words were "I will time you"! Perhaps this is a powerful argument against the concept of free will, or maybe it is just evidence that I was a very stupid little boy. In any case, it was extremely motivating to know that I was being timed, and it did not matter that my mother probably just made up some number when I came back.


Now I am older and new synapses have been formed in my brain. Telling me that I am being timed when going to the store doesn't do it for me anymore, in fact, until recently it was hard to get me running at all. Throwing me a soccer ball has always worked and it still does, but my jogging career was all but over until I discovered a little piece of software which you can download for free onto your Nokia phone: Nokia sports tracker. It has been working flawlessly with my Nokia N95 8Gb which I got in Christmas present. I should perhaps make clear that I am not a Nokia employee…



Nokia sports tracker records your GPS position while you are running, cycling, walking or skiing. It also calculated your speed, altitude, calorie expenditure, number of steps, and a lot of other interesting statistics. When I have finished my run I upload my workout to Nokia sports tracker online and then I can see my workout online on a map (see picture). I can also export the route to Google earth and see the route in this wonderful piece of software.




But the wonders do not end there. Next time I am going to run the same route, I open Nokia sports tracker and I tell the program that I want compare my new workout with my old workout. When I start running I see myself as a little blue dot, and I see my opponent (me two days ago) as a little red dot. When that little red dot on my screen gets ahead of the blue dot it is as if I am five years old again and my mother says "I'll time you", amazingly motivating. I almost ran myself to death the other day because I did not want to lose to my past (I did eventually lose, but I will correct that soon). It the dots are too close to distinguish, don't worry, the program continuously tells you how far behind or ahead you are in meters and in seconds (or minutes).

To sum up. Good work Nokia! Via this piece of software you have increased my predicted life span by a couple of years.

Ps: I will soon start writing about more pressing matters such as religion, brains and free will vs determinism again, so no worries there…

8 comments:

Sean Rasmussen said...

Hi Anders. I found your blog because you have the same name as my uncle in New Zealand. He lives there but is born in Denmark.
I like the concept of the Sports Tracker. I have a BlackBerry myself and it would be interesting to see if they have a similar device. Knowing that Nokia are world leaders in communication devices (over 100 years now the Fins have been at it, I believe), they are probably the only ones with a proper Sports Tracker available.
Great concept. I enjoyed your article, Anders.

rasmussenanders said...

Thank you Sean for your kind words.
I have realised from looking at stats that I receive a good deal of traffic from readers who are searching for Anders Rasmussen. Most of them are probably trying to find information about the danish prime minister "Anders Fogh Rasmussen". I am just fortunate to have the same name and thus receive traffic...

Nokia sports tracker is indeed a great piece of software, and I think it is impressive that they also give it to you for free.

http://lunken.wordpress.com said...

Nice gadget. Do I have to throw out my old Ericsson, or do I just settle with my old GPS? It would be as convenient just if the software were available, I mean to log everything as and thereafter download it to the software in my computer. It would however not be able to compare your running in real time, which was the most impressive function of the Sports tracker... hmmm.... it always comes down to new investments... ;-)

Does it work while using your car as well? Could be devastating to the drive safely campaign going on...

rasmussenanders said...

It does work when you are driving your car as well. As long as the GPS can find its satelites sports tracker works as well. However, I tend to use nokia maps, another free application from nokia, when I am driving. If you want navigation however, you have to pay a monthly fee, or download nav4all which is a free navigation application.

I sum, I have been extremely impressed by all the applications that nokia offer for free when you have got a phone. None of the phones that Ericson are going to offer this year seems to beat the N95 if you ask me...

Taavi said...

There is a bit similar piece of software for SonyEricsson, but! it obviously work with SE Sports accessory, which is basically gps unit, that you plug into the phone's port. Tried yesterday with my BT GPS and surprise, surprise! - it does not work! One can not specify the GPS settings for the software. Maybe it is just my Holox BT321, but seems to be more like SE problem.

BandAid said...

Good Blog Anders. Just to let your readers who have non-Nokia devices know of a very similar application. SportyPal. Naff name, but superb application. Can be downloaded from http://www.sportypal.com/Download

All the best.

BandAid

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