• Race by Hearts

Project Description

Announced in 2012 Race by Hearts was the first collective heart rate monitor for smartphones. Today (in 2016), Race by Hearts is still the only smartphone application on Apples App Store that enables athletes to monitor, share and compare their own heart rate, intensity level (based on percentage of max heart rate), and intensity zone with teammates during workouts.

Heart rate, intensity level, and intensity zone of all team mates are shown in a list layout. The users’ positions in the list are dynamic and based on intensity level, where the user with the highest intensity is positioned on top. This enables the users to control their position within the list by adjusting their effort throughout a session. The use of intensity level instead of heart rate provides a natural balancing of the users’ efforts.

Race by Hearts is compatible with all heart rate monitors that supports Bluetooth 4.0! This also means that the heart rate belt you are using with Race by Hearts can be used with popular fitness apps such as Runkeeper, Endomondo, Strav, and many many more.

For more info on Race by Hearts, see the official Race by Hearts webpage here: www.racebyhearts.com

RESEARCH

Besides the hundreds of active users that have downloaded and use the Race by Hearts iOS application, fellow PhD student Mads Møller Jensen and I also conducted a scientific empirical study to investigate how sharing biometric data (though Race by Hearts) in real-time affected athletes’ workout. For this, we recruited 20 participants (13 female, 7 male) between 20 and 40 years that all attended indoor cycling sessions at a local gym. Our study shows that sharing biometric data in real-time can strengthen social relations between participants, increase motivation, and improve the enjoyment of the fitness activity. Nevertheless, we also found that introducing competition based on real-time sharing of biometric data can cause exasperation and discouragement for some athletes. Based on our findings from this study, we discuss how technology can facilitate and modify competition in fitness exercises in general.

The research on Race by Hearts was presented at the ICEC conference in 2014 and published in the book ‘Entertainment Computing – ICEC 2014’. The research paper can be downloaded here.

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