The inspiration comes from a natural phenomenon that happens in forests among the trees. The trees have underground large network of roots through which they can communicate with each other video here. If in the network there is a weaker tree and it needs some vitamin or mineral supplements to survive, it can ask for it from the grown-up trees via the network.
As a beginner runner or cyclist, people often find it difficult to get involved in the group of experienced athletes. Also this may cause lack of motivation after some time. With the "RootNet" app, we are trying to find appropriate group for a beginner considering his level of expertise, type of activity(running/cycling). Also giving the user several ways to engage into the community and stay motivated while being fit both physically and holistically.
What it does
This app asks for basic measures of an user while registering, like email, height, weight etc. The app then syncs activity data from the smartwatch and visualizes the different metrics in the form of a radar chart. It also shows level of expertise and type of activity.
The app then compiles these information and suggests some groups according to the metrics. User can choose to join any of these groups. Each group has a Pro Athlete member who has the highest points/activity measures and can guide other members. Upon joining, the user gets access to various features.
One unique way to keep the user motivated. The group leader(Pro) can set a common alarm for every member, for example at 5 AM. Each user's phone will ring alarm bell at 5 AM together and while waking up, users can see if all the other users are awake and started exercising nearby. This gives a boost to the user's motivation and creates strong will to join others immediately.
Quick meet break
Members of the group, if nearby, can organize a quick break from work/study and meet for 15 minutes, engage into talks. This not only helps refresh the brain and move muscles but also helps improve mental health and engage into more group activities
Personal progress dashboard
The user can visualize the progress for the last 7 days in a radar chart synced from the wearable. Also the the members can comment on the measures of each day about what is necessary to achieve the target. If the user is burning more calories and not getting enough sleep or water, other member can suggest some carbs in the diet and add 2 liters of water to balance the metrics. Members can also suggest some recommended exercises post-run to help ease the muscles.
Recommended activities by group
User can see all the recommended activities by the group members. Be it a yoga course or a timed step climb practice, LiveWell here can also get involved and suggest online/offline classes. Also the user can see if other group members are nearby joining in a class.
How we built it
I once read about the root network of forests in a research paper. Also as a regular runner and cyclist, I sometimes feel the requirement to be in the group and engage into the community for mutual engagements. So combining the requirement and inspiration, we came up with this engaging and socail learning app. We used React Native, Redux and Fitrockr Public API.
Challenges we ran into
Initially there were some technical difficulties using the Fitrockr API but with prompt response of the LiveWell and Zurich Insurance team, we could solve it quickly.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We could use the Fitrockr API and integrate it in the app. We also got valuable inputs from the Zurich Insurance and LiveWell team and could make necessary changes into the app.
What we learned
We learned how we can make a strong community and engage both experts and beginners in the same group and learn mutually and grow together. As the beginner gradually grows his skills, he can be the next pro in the group.
What's next for RootNet
There is a lot of scope for RootNet to grow into the mainstream sports community/engagement world. We can involve mentoring sessions from world-class athletes, we can involve brands to promote their products to users personalized by the metrics, grow into more community based growth rather than individual growth. The possibilities are endless and with the help of Garmin wearable devices, the scope grows even more with connected communities across the world.