The idea for Project Runway came about one day when Brian was just done with a particularly intense treadmill workout. He made it in good time, and his feet weren't as heavy as the previous time. Feeling smug, he launched Runkeeper from his smartphone but before he could key in the details of his workout, the treadmill reset itself due to inactivity.
Brian cussed to himself. What does it take to save the last 10 worksouts in the treadmill, he wondered. Or even better - why can't my workouts be automatically synced to the cloud and connected to other workout apps like Runkeeper or Strava. The treadmill today seems to be a closed ecosystem, with no way to move your exercise data to other platforms.
He then came across a treadmill that did all these and more. $8000 was the MSRP. It was an insane price that probably appeals to the most ardent indoor fitness junkies. He thought of a portable device, mountable on any conventional treadmill, that could serve as a bridge between the dated treadmill and the Internet of Things ecosystem.
And hence the idea of Project Runway was born.
Runway is your treadmill, brain included.
What is Runway?
Runway will allow conventional treadmills to be integrated with the Internet of Things ecosystem of external apps and services.
Coupled with a companion smartphone app, the physical device is able to use its onboard sensors to measure speed, running gait, incline - data which can then be synced to your favorite health and fitness app like HealthKit or Runkeeper - to provide a holistic picture of your overall well-being.
Today's treadmills are dumb, to put it simply. Suppose you are training for a marathon - you turn on the treadmill and start runnning. One hour of running later, you still don't know if you are making better or worse progress than the previous time. There is a lack of real-time feedback. Also, the treadmill is a closed ecosystem - performance data such as your speed over time cannot be exported to your favorite apps. Runway is envisaged to be an affordable portable device you can mount to any treadmill - in the home, office or public gym. Working out without your phone? No worries, the data will be stored onboard ready to be synced the next time you pair with your phone. However, when you run with the companion smartphone app, you get live feedback on your pace and gait - things you need to get the most out of your workout. Finally, developers can write extensions or adapters to bridge Runway data to external apps and services.
Runway is Unlike Any Other
The Milestone Pod ($24.95) is a lightweight wearable device that provides detailed data about the user’s foot movement such as gait, cadence, foot strike, and step count. This kind of data is obtained by strapping the device onto the user’s shoes. Although this device offers detailed information about foot movement, it does not take into account the incline of the ground the user is stepping on. The absence of incline information affects calorie count and analysis of the workout.
As Fitbit’s one of the most advanced devices, the Fitbit Blaze offers data such as heart rate, multi-sport tracking, and step counts. Much like Milestone Pod, it also does not collect incline information. Although it provides heart rate data which Runway does not, it is also cumbersome to put on and there have been gripes that it gets in the way of running.
The Life Fitness Platinum Club Treadmill with Discover SE Tablet Console has a mouthful of a name, with a big price tag to boot. This internet connected treadmill offers most of the functionalities that our device has as goals. Although its price is on the expensive end ($8999), it offers functionalities such as on-screen entertainment, calorie tracking from speed and incline, machine controlled courses, and internet connectivity that also allows for saving data via cloud.