I’m a big fan of the ‘quantified life’ and have had my eye on a passive fitness tracker for a long time. Fitbit, fuelband, jawbone – they all have their pluses and drawbacks.
But one drawback they all share has kept me from making a decision: none of them can passively track cycling. My primary physical activity is my 5-day-per-week cycle commute. In total it’s between 5-8km/day, depending on which route I take and any errands I tack on.
The fitness trackers work on movement, with an accelerometer measuring arm swings, steps, etc. to track activity. Problem with cycling is, the body doesn’t make any jarring movements, and it goes much faster than walking or running anyhow.
The whole allure of the passive trackers, though, is that they automatically track activity. I’m really not great at firing up an app like RunKeeper or similar every time I hop on my bike, to make sure I’m tracking the ride.
A really simple app with some really cool technology behind it.
Download Moves to your iPhone, it runs in the background, tracking your walking, running, and CYCLING!
Moves works off GPS, so it can be in a pocket, backpack, handbag, whatever. As long as it’s going where you go. Then, during idle times when you have a data connection, Moves sends your… uh… moves to its central server and analyses where you’ve gone, and how fast. From there, Moves will map out where you’ve been and how you got there; walking, running, cycling or “transport” (basically, a moving vehicle).
I’ve been using it a few weeks now, and it’s rarely wrong. Occasionally I’ve had to edit my bike rides to change some walking (if I’ve had to go really slow) or transport (if I kick it up and tear down the street) back to cycling – but for the most part, it’s engine’s analysis is spot on.
Moves also pulls in Foursquare data, so you can tag locations for home, work, and venues you’ve traveled to.
The only two drawbacks with Moves so far are that there’s no Android app (though, allegedly, on its way!), and the API is only *just* open to integrate the moves data with other applications.
And you’d better believe I’m buying the first tracker to integrate with it.