Wearable technology has led everyday people and fitness buffs alike to track every aspect of their lives.
It’s part of an increasingly growing movement dubbed the “Quantified Self.”
But startup Moves is betting that wearable tech won’t be the thing to make the Quantified Self movement go mainstream.
“We think the phone is a great existing platform for activity tracking,” Moves CEO and Designer Sampo Karjalainen says. “The fact that so many people are already carrying their phones with them, that helps a lot. If you buy these [wearable fitness] gadgets, you need to remember to charge and carry one more gadget. It’s a big behavioural change you have to do.”
Moves is a free iPhone app that runs in the background for tracking a variety of activities like walking, running, cycling, and driving. Based on some early stats, it seems like Karjalainen may be right about the smartphone being the optimal tool for activity tracking.
To date, Moves has been downloaded over 1.9 million times on iOS and tracks 2 billion steps per day. Compare that to the Jawbone Up, which tracks more than 1 billion steps per day, according to data released in April.
Moves is geared toward those who aren’t that physically active, but want a general understanding of their health and fitness. Karjalaien says there will be use cases for those wearable tech gadgets, but phones are what will make the fitness tracking market go mainstream.
Earlier this year, Moves raised $1.6 million from PROfounders Capital and Lifeline Ventures. Just last month, Moves released its API for developers to integrate Moves into preexisting apps and services. Moves plans to release its Android app this summer.
Disclosure: Finnish funding agency Tekes and Finnfacts, a non-profit media service organisation in Finland, paid for my trip to Helsinki to explore the startup scene.
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