Getting into Fitness Faster
Amsterdam-based GPS giant TomTom wanted to use its infrastructure to develop a fitness device. For its first foray into this market, TomTom approached Spire Digital with an idea for a smartwatch that could monitor a user’s physical activity and save and track the data via a complementary mobile-web interface. In less than six months, using both responsive web development and user experience design, Spire was able to build, refine and deliver the interface and dashboard in time for the global release of TomTom’s fitness watch.
Competing on a higher level in the global mapping market required TomTom to explore new revenue streams, and they found one in the growing world of fitness devices. Inserting their global mapping capabilities into a fitness watch meant they also needed accompanying software that could be accessed on the web and via mobile devices. With the watch, users could monitor an activity, such as running, then track time series and geo data on the web app and use it to improve future performance. The web app had to be responsive, rooted in user-centered design, and—high on the list—developed lean so TomTom could take it to market quickly.
Working in an agile fashion, Spire defined the web application’s requirements, both from a functional and brand perspective. Leveraging APIs from partner MapMyFitness, Spire developed an activity monitoring dashboard that gathers data both from the watch itself and wi-fi data pushes. The web-based platform gives the TomTom product team the ability to be nimble with updates and enhancements to their data without having to support various native platforms for all of their customers’ devices. In all, Spire and TomTom were able to deploy new features every two weeks, based on a Build, Measure, Learn process, which allowed TomTom to enter the market quickly, get feedback and release new features as needed.
TomTom’s Multi-Sport watch now makes up the largest business division in the company. Test-marketed first in the U.S., the watch and accompanying mobile web application were then rolled out globally, and are now localized in nine languages. Among other real-time training features, the watch’s mapping component shows users how fast they’re running or cycling, then saves the data so that users can race themselves in the future. Best of all, responsive web development and a lean approach allowed Spire to deliver the web app faster while still accommodating every mobile device, as well as decrease the total cost of ownership for TomTom.