So you think exercise is an excruciating test of willpower over the drudgery of treadmills, crowded gyms and sweaty t-shirts? So do we! That’s why we need Rundercover, a thrilling interactive audio-game. Or, how a Swiss startup starts out to make your outdoor exercises more fun and rewarding.
In the mobile app “Rundercover”, you as the runner become the hero of an epic secret agent story. Through various interactions, such as jumps, speed-ups and voice commands, you actively engage in in the story and determine the progress of the game. Utilizing built-in GPS and acceleration sensors, the app detects moves and determines how successfully challenges are completed.
All that’s needed to play is an iPhone (later on Android will be added), a headset and running shoes. The game is entirely audio-based: “Good morning agent, are you ready for your mission today?”, says a voice before you set off on your route of choice. After a few minutes you receive your first task: “Watch out, there is a missile approaching from four o’clock! Jump up to avoid being hit!” Recording the actions in real-time, the app rewards the “agent” with points, depending on his or her ability to solve the challenge at hand.
The concept is new and unique: Instead of sitting at home at the computer, you’re playing while being active outdoors. «Having been a passionate runner myself,» says co-founder and mobile expert Daniel Kästli, «I’m familiar with most of the current running apps. They focus on recording and measuring performance and follow a rather technical approach. I wanted more: an interactive and fun way to exercise.». He didn’t find any existing apps that met his criteria. Even the well-known “Zombies, Run!” has its focus more on storytelling than on interactive elements.
That’s how Daniel decided to give it a shot and paired up with Peter Schiratzki. The two Swiss entrepreneurs have previously co-founded «Spontacts», a successful social community in Germany and Switzerland. In fall 2013, they started working on the Rundercover concept and design and were soon after joined by composer and film musician Olav Lervik and game designer Tabea Iseli.
The development of the app is still in progress and will find its final shape in collaboration with future users. «From our experience with startups, we know that the two hardest parts are raising funds and creating a product that users love.» says Peter Schiratzki, marketing specialist at Rundercover. «That’s why we’ve picked Kickstarter: to crowdfund the initial app version and collect crucial inputs at the same time.»
The Kickstarter campaign (kck.st/rundercovergame
) starts March 3rd. A minimum of $60’000 are required for completing the game, which is scheduled to launch in summer 2014.
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