New Kickstarter launched – The Rowing App

Launched today is a new Kickstarter for a product called The Rowing App

To summarize some of the main offered features

  • Able to log workouts on the erg and on the water in the same place
  • For water outings – Phone can be attached to the blade where it will track the GPS of the outing, but also track the position of the blade in/out of the water for later review
  • For erg sessions – Uses Optical Character Recognition to record the workout details
  • Calendar for planning sessions
  • Monthly subscription charge for using the Premium analysis part of the app

My general positive thoughts about the kickstarter are that it looks like quite a nice app, it has a number of big names behind it in the rowing world, it has been well thought out and a very good User Interface and there are a few nice features like being able to use OCR and photos to record erg sessions (meaning no need to faff with cables/firmware/monitors pre erg), and being able to add photos of the conditions for the log

On the downside, although I like the idea of tracking the blade path through the stroke, I feel that attaching a phone to the blade will be making it somewhat unweildly – particularly one of the narrow shaft sculling blades that are becoming more and more popular. Assuming that it is the phones accelerometer that they are using to track the blade path, an easy solution would be to use a separate accelerometer device (something like the wahoo cadence sensor) and connect that to the phone, that would be much smaller and easier to manage – adding ANT+ would also bring the added benefit of meaning in crew boats (with multiple sensors) all the phones in the boat would be able to recive the data from all the sensors, so blade paths could be overlaid – i.e. if each rower in a pair had a phone and sensor each, using ANT+ they would be able to see each others blade paths on their own phone, not possible with bluetooth smart which is 1-1 connection only.

In addition, there is the point of making sure that even though the data is being collected is presented in context – there is no point in seeing what your blade path is doing without seeing an example of what it “should” be doing or where it is going wrong, here I would hope the devs are using their big name rowers to install a number of “ideal” curves that people are able to follow and I suspect this is what the “premium features” will be that are being offered, however apparently the final feature set is to be confirmed after crowdfunding

In summary, I very much like the concept of the app but have not completely bought into the idea of using a phone on my blade as it is currently suggested, I will be putting my points to the devs and also closely following the project as I do think the app in particular looks very well put together and could be a useful way to track land and water training in one place




About stelph82

I am a rower who is a lot of a technology geek as well!
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7 Responses to New Kickstarter launched – The Rowing App

  1. I am skeptical about their hardware implementation and don’t think OCR screenshots of erg sessions are such a big deal. On the other hand, the machine learning aspect is interesting. That part could work in synergy with other apps and hardware like smart oarlocks.

    • stelph82 says:

      The OCR part I think would be quite useful – of the 16 or so ergs at my club all have PM3’s but about half don’t like connecting to the USB phone connector so OCR would help having to type out erg scores each time

  2. Paul here – one of the co-founders of company and developers of The Rowing App. Love this website; we are of like mind and sensibilities in many ways. We appreciate the exposure, your compliments, and your impressions. When Seth wraps up his Olympic obligations, I would love to have him provide some additional education. There are some nuances to what we are currently doing that should probably be appreciated. The top secret stuff has to remain under wraps, though… 🙂

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