Echo Run Takes Jogging Apps to the Next Level
Tufts had a Music Hack Day last weekend, and The Echo Nest head of developer community Paul Lamere was in attendance. Every hack was interesting in its own way, but one struck him as particularly advanced, with possible commercial viability.
It’s called EchoRun, currently awaiting Apple’s approval for distribution in the iTunes app store, for free.
Why was he so impressed? Well, we’ve seen plenty of jogging apps that use the accelerometer in today’s smartphones to monkey with the music being played to facilitate a workout, but none goes so far as EchoRun.
This as-yet-unreleased iOS app adds gamification, smart playlist generation, audio manipulation, social elements, and more to the well-established concept that the right music can make exercise more effective — and, of course, it uses our musical data (which, as you might know, is the biggest database about music in the world).
Created by Tufts students Diego Carranza, Charles Holbrow, J. Foster Lockwood, Will Millar, and Stephan Panaro, EchoRun turns jogging into a much more musical — and competitive — experience.
We’ll let J. Foster Lockwood explain how it works:
“EchoRun provides incentive for those who find their morning run lacking,” writes Lockwood. “Using a user-created playlist in the default [iOS] music app, EchoRun analyzes each song, using The Echo Nest API, for tempo and energy levels. As you start running with EchoRun playing your music, it detects the rate at which you run at (via the accelerometer) and if you aren’t up to pace, it will slow down the song currently playing and fade out.”
“Once you’ve caught your breath and started running again, it will speed the song up to its original tempo and give you a cheer for recovering,” he added. “The website currently shows a live leader board with the names of who is running and what song they are listening to, as well as a score out of 100 representing their pace.”
So not only does EchoRun keep you motivated by manipulating music from your own library — even including a cheering section — but it lets you race against other users of the app, see how they fast they are, and what they like to listen to as they jog.
This was just one of the great hacks to emerge at Tufts. All in all, it was a great Music Hack Day.
“We know lots of students have interesting ideas, but with school work and everything else, it is hard to set aside time to work on them,” said Alden Keefe Sampson, one of the organizers of the event. ”We started the hackathon to give students a chance to get their projects off the ground, learn knew technologies, and find new friends to work with. We were very impressed by the creativity and quality of the projects that teams were able to create in less than 24 hours.”
And thus, another excellent Music Hack Day drew to a close — and another promising app made its way to the iTunes App Store.