27 mai 2013

Catch the cat or flee from the police - University students create gaming Apps for the Suunto Ambit

App Designer in Movescount.com

The capabilities of the Suunto Ambit and the App Designer were recently put to test by students at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. Together with Suunto, the university organized a lighthearted and fun competition for its students to create games for the Suunto Ambit using the App Designer in Movescount.com. 

The idea was to create gaming apps for the Ambit as a test for the students. To make the task more challenging, participants were given only one weekend to conceptualise, create and test the game. All the games were then published in the Suunto App Zone on Movescount.com. The Ambit App Challenge was run as a university course and the participants, upon successful completion, received three study points for their projects.

The participants were certainly not lacking in imagination. The apps made in the contest included a virtual pet, which encourages its owner to move. The more you move, the happier “Petzy” is. Another app created will be very handy for anyone interested in Disc Golf, providing live statistics during the game. The winning app had perhaps the most important characteristic of a good game — it was addictive.

The winning app, “Cat Hunt”, is a simple game where you hunt a virtual cat on a 500x500 m playfield: www.movescount.com/apps/app10001220-Cat_Hunt. However, the jury issues a warning: don’t try playing this game next to a road or water, as you might unexpectedly end up in the middle of traffic or end up having to swim to catch the cat!

“We were first thinking about an Easter egg hunt,” says Niko Autio, one of the developers of the Cat Hunt game. “But the idea evolved, and we were ready with the concept just one day before the deadline, so we only had a day to develop and test the game.” When asked who would use the App, the developer team replied: “It's definitely not for serious people!”

The second place was a tie between the Disc Golf Tracker: www.movescount.com/apps/app10001096-Disc_Golf_Tracker, and another fun game, “Donut Patrol”: www.movescount.com/apps/app10001301-Doughnut_Patrol.

“We wanted our students to think how people could be inspired to move through 'playing a game' instead of setting sports related exercising targets,” says Lauri Frank, Associate professor in the University's Dept of Computer and Science Information Systems. “Our research has shown that with the help of technology an individual is able to track their exercise, but only rarely is technology able to motivate an individual to exercise.”

“The Ambit was obviously not designed as a gaming device. However, this was a great opportunity to see what innovative minds can accomplish with the App Designer in a short timeframe,” says Janne Kallio, head of digital services at Suunto. “Playing some of these games was something different to the normal run at target pace and heart rate,” he adds.

Do you have gaming ideas for the Ambit? Use the App Designer www.movescount.com/tools/appdesigner to design your own – whether for serious sports or just for fun.


About Suunto

Suunto was born in 1936 when Finnish orienteer and engineer Tuomas Vohlonen invented the mass production method for the liquid-filled compass. Since then, Suunto has been at the forefront of design and innovation for sports watches, dive computers and sports instruments used by adventurers all over the globe. From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, Suunto physically and mentally equips outdoor adventurers to conquer new territory.

Suunto's headquarters and manufacturing plant is in Vantaa, Finland. Employing more than 400 people worldwide, Suunto products are sold in over 100 countries. The company is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corporation along with its sister brands Salomon, Arc'teryx, Atomic, Wilson, Precor, Mavic and Nikita.

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