I’m fat. I haven’t always been fat, but a combination of aging, having a career where I type for a living, and my love of chocolate and wine has found me in the same boat as 70% of Americans. I’ve purchased Fitbits and Jawbones and watch wearables in hopes that they can help motivate me. I’ve joined online fitness challenges where I’m just one of a thousand (if not tens of thousands) “competing” against each other in a cattle call. These tools and strategies don’t work for me.
So a year ago, everyone in our office got a Fitbit. Since we are an office of geeks, we plugged into the Fitbit API and created a simple live graphing tool that showed everyone’s steps for the day. We then put that live graph up on our conference room TV and it immediately began the competitive juices flowing. I found myself taking the long way to catch a train home. Anything to get those extra steps in and have my data points hover over everyone else.
We’ve taken that simple idea and created an app that lets you create personal challenges with your coworkers and peers. We call the platform helfy and it is available to download for free right now in the app stores.
We’ve also made it simple to allow people who have different fitness devices to compete against each other fairly. Jawbone vs Fitbit? No problem. Even though they might track a step differently, we’ve abstracted that data so that there is a level playing field. 2000 steps = 1 coin. Get the most coins over the course of a challenge and you’ve got bragging rights. It’s meant to be simple.
We’ve put together this short summary video that tells you what helfy is all about.
You don’t have to set up a separate helfy account. Just use your existing Fitbit or MapMyFitness (Under Armour Connected Fitness) credentials and you are in and ready to create or join a challenge. You don’t even need a Fitbit device, you can just use your phone.
Our revenue model?
helfy is free and ad supported. We hope by doing this we can get the maximum number of users who will get off their butts and take those extra steps each day. Our main revenue for helfy is going to come from private labeling the platform to companies and help HR directors who haven’t seen employees excited about any of the wellness portals that they’ve been instructed to use. Privacy is a big issue and with our platform and our coins reward system, we have eliminated many of those concerns. We believe that our platform will help bring teams together and give that extra bit of motivation to help people think about their daily activities.
We’ve got a list as long as our arms with what we’d like to do with helfy. The next big release will include direct connectivity into Apple’s Healthkit and an Apple Watch application that lets you see your Challenge dashboard directly from your wrist. Even putting a pedometer within our app itself for our Android users is being planned. Notifications, “liking” or favoriting and better messaging will be coming in the future. It’s exciting for us and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
What about those 25lbs?
I’ve been using the betas of our application since the first of the year, and have personally lost 25lbs just by being more aware of my activity level and going out of my way to stay atop the leaderboard in my coworker challenges.
Please join us and get helfy.