Exercise is absolutely essential to maintaining and enhancing physical and social well-being. However in these challenging times, people aren’t able to exercise together like they normally can. Derby was created to solve this problem.

What it does

DERBY is an app that lets friends from wherever they are (at home, in a different city, or even in a different country) and remotely compete against each other with fun challenges.

These challenges can include marathon races, cycling competitions, or even who can accumulate the most steps in a week – things that can be done while safely isolating in your own home or outside whilst maintaining social distancing. The winner of each challenge earns points and can claim to be the best out of all their friends.

For the proof of concept, we have focused on running (e.g. marathons, races, etc). This can be extended to other forms of fitness and non-fitness competitions.

How we built it

We built a watchOS app that captures heath and exercise data from the user, and sends that to our API. The watchOS app was written in Swift.

We also built a frontend that shows the leaderboard; see how many points they have collected; and allows their non-competing friends to watch the race. That front-end is written using React, and uses Fannypack as the underlying styling framework.

There is also an underlying backend API written in Node.JS (using Hapi) to sync the state between the app and the front-end.

Challenges we ran into

  • We never have previously built a watchOS application before; as such we had some difficulties with writing and testing watchOS applications on a physical device.

What we learned

  • We learnt how to be the best of friends.

  • We learnt how to collaborate as a hackathon team remotely.

  • We learnt how to make watchOS applications.

What's next for DERBY

We hope to extend DERBY’s functionality by incorporating more challenges and perks - some of which will be behind a subscription service that we wish to also implement.

In addition, we'd like to support more platforms like Fitbit and Android - so more of your friends can compete with you on DERBY.

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