Our inspiration came from our own workout journeys. When we started, we could not afford a gym membership or personal trainer. So, we decided to pursue at home workouts as an alternative. Through this, we gained knowledge about movement, exercise, and health. However, home workouts slowly became repetitive and boring, to combat this we started exercising together. This renewed our passion and drive for working out (this method was also backed by a study done by SciRep in 2016). We implemented this idea into our lens “Your Turn!” by encouraging healthy habits between you and your friends. Through supporting each other, we wanted to spread the idea that fitness is better with friends.
What it does
Your Turn! Is a lens that allows you to send snaps of one of the 4 convenient compound exercises with a repetition number above to your friends. The idea is that after completing the challenge you sent them, they will send one back, and through a few snaps, you will completed a successful full body exercise routine. With Snapchat being designed for social interaction, it is the perfect platform for a lens like this. Your Turn! Utilizes a fast and simple user interface that makes fitness fun for everyone.
How we built it
We built the Your Turn! Lens in Lens Studio v. 4.22.0. We started with the template roulette wheel from Nicholas Dominici on GitHub. Our images were created/developed with adobe illustrator and fonts were carefully selected to complement the lens idea. Our inspiration for the graphical interface of the lens was intuitivity and modernism. The color Coral was used because of the fun and friendly atmosphere it created. The images and numbers were inputted into an image cycling lens script that changes images as fast as possible until the user opens their mouth. We placed the cycling rectangle on the users forehead to stay with the trend of Snapchat lens positioning. After testing the lens with our friends, we decided to implement the hints feature so people would easily understand how to stop the cycling process. Something important to us was reducing the lens file size to as small as possible without decreasing quality which made it easier to load and faster to implement on devices.
Challenges we ran into
Obviously the first challenge we ran into was learning how to use Lens Studio and Adobe illustrator in the first place, as we had never used any of those programs before. Creating an animation in the GIPHY software and rotating through the images without using a script was quite the learning curve. Despite spending a lot of time, we did not use this method because it would be challenging to add more exercises in the future or change the graphic interface. Instead, we went with our current method. Another challenge lay in our compression system. Max file size was 8 megabites and GIFs take up a lot of space because they are not transparent meaning the image is bigger, and they use LZW compression, which is not the most ideal lossless compression algorithm. When opening the GIF’s via. snapchat on an older phone, it would most certatintly lag. In changing to image rotation with a script, we erased the lag time and made a more seamless user interface.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The accomplishment of having made a lens on Snapchat that people can interact with was already enough of an accomplishment. Learning the skills to create digital AR products was also a great experience, and has piqued our interest in further projects. At the end of the day, we just wanted to support others the same way that we felt supported by each other and the resources we found online. We are proud to announce the creation of the Your Turn! Lens and I hope we inspire others on their fitness Journey as well.
What we learned
We learned to use Lens Studio and a myriad of other applications to make our AR design into a real project. These applicable skills are transferrable to other projects which we already have ideas for. Running into errors and struggling in a project not related to our school responsibilities also taught us to keep at it and every problem is solvable with hard work and time. We plan to use these skills later on to extend the reach of our goals of inspiring healthy habits in every community.
What's next for Your Turn!
On a similar note, we plan to continue making fitness related online resources accessible to all to make everyone’s fitness dreams a reality. We have already started a blog at https://www.teenathletics.org/ and we hope to create more applications designed to improve health and wellbeing in users.