I’m just back from a run along the sea front in Brighton. I gave up the gym a while ago because I wasn’t using it, basically because I think I didn’t really want to spend any time there. Gyms are rubbish.
But they are good for one thing; data. I always liked the timing and measuring aspects of the gym. So if I was going to take up running outside, I wanted something that would helped with that.
So I signed up to a MapMyRun account, which is a nice little freemium (free with ads, but if you pay membership you get no ads & extras) mash-up with Google maps. You draw your route on the map, and then when you get back, having recorded your time, it’ll give you all sorts of breakdowns (how far you’ve run this month, average pace & speed and so on).
You also get to sbhare your runs and times with the other users of the site, so i can imagine in time the community aspect will really come to the fore; want to start running in a new area? Well just ask the people who’ve done it before you. It’s a great little site.
However, you have to update it when you get home. So when you’re out running, you have to do the maths in your head if you’re trying to hit a certain time.
Now, I know the Nike+ & iPod system is better than this, as I believe it tries to get you to change pace (and it shouts at you through the headphones or summat…), but I think that soon there’ll be something better on the way…
Why? Well, I was inspired by this post from Wired: Gadget Lab, about a fella who wants to mash up the Mario Kart ‘Ghost Racer’ function with real life driving; you could ‘see’ where you were at the excat same time on the previous lap.
For those who don’t know, the ‘Ghost Race’ function in Mario Kart lets you try and beat previous best times by projecting a ‘ghost’ image of the exact location you were at that time last time out:
Now, imagine you combine a data bank like MapMyRun, a spot of GPS on yer iPhone so the system knows where you are, and a smattering of heads-up display on a pair of glasses, like the ones featured in this article from popsci.com:
If all the technology exists now,I don’t think we can be far off seeing a real life ‘ghost race’ for the tech’ed up runner… either race against your best times, or chase other people who’ve uploaded their runs too:
And you could use it for all sorts of sports, not just running; cycling, golf, motorsports, any track & field… in fact any sort of sports games that already have some sort of replay/performance tracking… well, that might just come to real life soon.
Of course, all this is lending yet further evidence to the theory that Dutch footballer Edgar Davids was actually from the future…