70% of our Rowing in Motion Analytics Users are using it on their tablet or desktop PC. That didn’t align well with our initial implementation that was based around a smartphone-optimized user interface (that would also work well on tablets). So we changed that:
The new design is focused around a responsive layout that will automatically adapt to different screen sizes. Whether you are using it on your smartphone, tablet or desktop, the layout will automatically re-arrange its elements to give you the best possible view on your data.
The most prominent addition to the user interface is the new sidebar that allows you to quickly navigate between different parts of analytics. You can bring it on screen using the button with the three bars at the top and it will automatically slide in and push the screen content to the side. This style of navigation allows us to keep the App accessible as we continue to add more features
The old design was focused to resemble a smartphone interface. The new design is much more freestanding and allows fitting more content on the screen with narrower fonts and a clean and lean look. With Microsoft introducing a similar design with Windows 8 and Apple shifting to a similar pardigm with iOS 7, we believe we are on top of the trend for functional and sexy user interface design.
Facebook login and linking accounts
You can now also create an account by signing in with your facebook account. You can also link multiple identity providers (e.g. your google and your facebook account) to your Rowing in Motion account so you can sign in using any of your identity providers. To add another identity provider to your account, click the user button and navigate to your profile. You can add a login in the “My Logins” box using the big “Add Login” button.
Our mission is to help rowers achieve better results by giving every rower and coach a tool they can use in daily training to get instant feedback on their performance. To help promote the use of smartphone technology in rowing, we have decided to create a basic edition of the Rowing in Motion Boat App and give it away for free!
Rowing in Motion Boat App (Basic)
Rowing in Motion Basic allows you to completely replace your Speedcoach, giving you strokerate, speed and distance information as well as a basic boat acceleration analysis. No cables, no callibration, all you have to do is attach your iPhone to the boat and you’re ready to go. The basic edition allows you to record all your data and anlayze it online in Rowing in Motion Analytics.
Rowing in Motion Boat App replaces our existing Lite version of the Boat App that allowed you to analyze 20 strokes only. Additional features like sonification, acceleration comparisons, speed graphs and recording boat acceleration are available via an In-App-Purchase which that unlocks all features of the App and giving you all the same features of our paid Boat App, which is now going to be called Rowing in Motion Boat App – Pro.
Want to try the Boat App basic? Head over to the App Store and download it now!
Rowing in Motion Boat App – Pro
The existing Rowing in Motion Boat App is going to be called Rowing in Motion Boat App – Pro with this update (and it gets a sexy new badge on its icon). Nothing will change for existing customers of this Pro version as we will continue to provide support and updates for it. We will however remove it from sale on the App Store, so new users will have to download the Boat App Basic and upgrade via In-App-Purchase. Customers who have already bought the App can however continue to download it onto their devices from the list of their bought applications in iTunes. Should you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
What do I get by upgrading to Pro Edition?
Once you get used to working with a smartphone in your boat, you will notice that there’s a lot more it can do for you to help you improve your rowing technique. The Pro Edition is designed from the ground up to be a profressional measurement tool for ambitious rowers that want to improve the efficiency of their rowing stroke.
By Upgrading to Rowing in Motion Pro, you will have access to the following features compared to the basic edition:
While we are making the final preparations to launch the first version of the Rowing in Motion App for Android, we need all our interested testers to join our Tester team at testflightapp.com which we will use to deliver the latest builds to your Android device. The first beta will be made available via testflightapp.com in the next few days.
Please also make sure you’re signed up to our mailing list, to receive additional news about the Beta Program. Should you have any questions please mail us at email@example.com
So, what can you expect from the first beta version? We have Boat Acceleration, Speed and Distance processing fully working, the Dashboard, the Acceleration Graph and the Strokerate view are available to visualize them. We still have a lot of work to do to make the App as polished and good-looking as on the iOS platform, so don’t be upset about the screenshots looking a bit unsexy for now, we’ll fix that
The catch is one of the most critical parts of the rowing stroke cycle. Boat velocity is lowest at the catch, caused by a phase of deceleration when the rower needs to reverse his body’s direction of motion by pushing against the stretcher. This pushing on the stretcher creates a force direct against the boats direction of movement, therefore slowing it down. Last time in “Improve your stroke with Rowing in Motion” we looked at exactly this phenomenon and discussed various strategies to avoid this by adopting a crews motion pattern in the recovery.
Slow catch – “rowing in” the blade
This time, we’re looking at the next part of the rowing stroke, the catch. The key challenge at the catch is to move the blades into the water as fast as possible at the maximum angle. If the hands move up too slow, we see the blade being “rowed in” to the water. The boat loses even more velocity as the rower starts pushing on the stretcher without generating a positive handle force to compensate for that. What’s more important is that a significant part of stroke length is lost that could instead be used to accelerate the boat. In the “Rowing in Motion Video” below you see the blade being rowed in and the corresponding acceleration graph.
Fast catch with “V-splash”
Now, let’s take a look at an example for an optimal catch. The optimal catch is characterised by the typical “v-splash” when the squared blade hits the water right before the maximum angle is reached (creating a backsplash) and is being moved into the water as fast as possible while beginning the stroke (creating a small frontsplash). In the below “Rowing in Motion Video” you can see a better timing at the catch where the blades hit the water earlier and a visible backsplash is created.
Comparing boat acceleration at the catch
For your reference here’s the full video comparing the two different styles at the catch in realtime and slow motion.
From the same video pieces, we have analysed the typical boat acceleration using Rowing in Motion Analytics.The blue graph is from a part of the exercise where the blade has been “rowed in” and the red graph is from a part of the exercise with a better timing at the catch.
We can clearly see that boat acceleration in the early drive phase of the stroke is greatly improved with an optimal catch. As I have detailed in another post in this series, earlier acceleration is better since it increases average boat velocity over the stroke. You can think about it this way: boat velocity changes during the stroke but at the end and beginning, it’s the same (since negative and positive boat acceleration add to zero and the boat maintains its average velocity). How do you increase this average velocity? When the boat is slowest at the catch you need to accelerate the boat as quickly as possible to be fast for as long as possible during the stroke cycle. That’s how you increase average velocity.
Exercises for achieving a good catch
It’s important you try to develop a good feeling for an optimal catch and when you get it right. A slow rise in boat acceleration after the catch indicates that the blade is being “rowed in”. Using sonification the difference between an optimal and suboptimal catch can be exemplified and the crew can use this realtime feedback to associate the correct “feeling” with a good catch.
As I mentioned previously, a good visual indicator for a good catch is the typical “V-splash” that can be observed when the blade hits the water in the right moment. Coaches can usually spot the V-splash easily but there’s no harm to use a simple video analysis to confirm an initial impression. To help crews achieve a good catch, focus on the movement of their hands and upper body. The upper body should remain in a fixed forward position while the hands rise slowly towards the catch so the blade hits the water at the right moment. It’s also important that the blades are being squared early enough so some time remains to put them near and into the water. When the blade is squared too late, the hands usually “dip” down a little to make enough room for squaring – while at the same time moving the blade away from the water and making it impossible to hit the right spot.
Here’s some exercises that may help with a good catch:
try squaring the blade reeeeaaaally early, best above the knees or ankles
work with overreactions, make the crew push the blades into the water so a huge backsplash is created
try to convey to your crew that the blades should be completely buried at the maximum catch angle when they get there, not on the way back
try split-crew rowing in the four or eight as that increases boat stability and the feeling of traction when the catch was done correctly
We are glad we can tell you that we’ve just completed the first milestone for Rowing in Motion on Android. We have ported most of our internal processing APIs, wrote an Android compatible sensor adaption layer and are now building the basic blocks for the graphical user interface. So what can the App do at the moment? It can process acceleration data and show you the stroke rate, not much more but our velocity is picking up. We expect to start the beta program at the end of may.
A new foundation
The Boat and Coach App have until now been written in pure Objective-C so we can’t reuse the code on Android. We decided to port the codebase to C# using Xamarins MonoTouch and MonoDroid framework so future versions of Rowing in Motion will be built on the same codebase for Android and iOS. Unfortunately that also means we have to re-implement the Boat App for iOS on top of writing a new App for Android, but we appreciate it will make it easier for use to bring new features to both platforms simultaneously. An added bonus is that we can also reuse our core algorithms and serialization APIs between the Apps and our Analytics online service, which is written in C# too. We also use some bits of F# (a functional programming language) for some mathematical models of the rowing stroke that we use to estimate boat movement and calculate metrics.
Builds, builds, builds
A core tenet of our quality assurance is that we use automated tests to verify the App functions as expected. We have a dedicated virtual machine cluster that continuously builds and tests our code on iOS and Android devices, runs all tests and creates packages ready for deployment to the App Store. Getting everything up and running wasn’t easy, but we’re now happy to have a fully automated setup that allows us to rapidly make changes while ensuring the code base is fully stable.
Oh, and another nice side effect is that we can coarsely estimate our progress with the port. If we go by test count, the Android port is about 20% done. (Apps is the current iOS only Boat and Coach App, RowingInMotion.Mobile is the new iOS and Android App).
We still have a lot of things to do, so register for our newsletter to keep up to date and take part in the public Android Beta Program.
One of the most interesting things you can do with Rowing in Motion is to test different boats, material or rigging with your crew and find the combination that makes the crew go fastest. With realtime feedback and easy post-exercise analytics, Rowing in Motion can help you get objective data to make your decision. Some of our customers have already used Rowing in Motion to decide which type of blades to use with their crew but there’s a host of other things you can test as well. Here’s a few tips that we’ve learned while performing such tests ourselves.
Establish a test protocol
Yes, no-one likes to do protocols but for reliably testing crew, material or rigging combinations it is super critical you record
what configuration is being tested (crew, boat, material, rigging)
what the conditions were on the water (wind direction, wind speed, wash)
It’s obvious that you can only compare data recorded in equal conditions, so make sure you have them stable before testing. It’s best if you can test things in a quick succession because that ensures that the crew has about the same level of fitness and conditions are more likely to be consistent.
Establish a test profile
If you plan to optimize your 2000m performance, you should test under realistic race conditions. Most prominently, that means you will need to row at race frequency. Nonetheless, it’s useful to test at one or two lower frequencies too. Why is that? If the difference between two configurations are significant, you will likely see the same differences in acceleration patterns no matter what the stroke rate. By testing at different rates, you are able to tell whether a change is significant or not. We prefer to row a fixed profile that allows the boat get up to speed at different speeds and have the crew accomodate. We think the below profile is not really exhausting for well-trained athletes at can be easily repeated 2-3 times in a row to test different configurations.
20 stokes at SF 20
20 strokes at SF 24
20 strokes at SF 32
20 strokes at your race frequency
Analyze using Rowing in Motion Analytics
Right now Rowing in Motion Analytics allows you to compare typical stroke profiles in a single logfile only. We plan to fix that in the future, but for now it’s best if you can make changes directly at the dock and record all tested configurations in a single logfile. When selecting the data ranges to calculate the typical stroke from, we recommend you do not select the first 5 strokes of each step in the profile. During these five strokes the boat velocity is changed between strokes to get the boat up to speed and these strokes typically show a high deviation from the typical stroke, that would skew the results a little.
To select the data ranges in analytics, you should zoom into the graph to allow making a more precise selection. You should then select the last 15 of the 20 strokes at each stroke rate. Here’s an example
Tips for data interpretation
You should check out some of the theory behind boat acceleration and how it changes during the rowing stroke. Have a look at Optimize your Rowing Stroke with Rowing in Motion and the Analysis category on our blog where we post some of our thoughts and analysis results. In general you should not compare apples to oranges and only compare data at the same stroke rates. To be fair, interpreting this data is not easy and takes a bit of experience. If you need any help, please don’t hesitate to write to us and we’re glad to help you interpret your data.
Now it’s your turn. Tell us what you have found helps your crew go faster in the comments. We’re keen to hear about your story.
We often get asked what the best way to deploy Rowing in Motion onto multiple devices is in a club setting. Most clubs tend to supply the Coach with an iPad and the Coach App (or reimburse the Coach for getting the Coach App on his own iPad) and have the athletes buy the Boat App on their own iPhones. Someclubs however want to supply the full setup to their athletes, similar to the way they supply a NK StrokeCoach or similar. If you need a few tips for suitable devices, have a look at our Hardware Support list for the Boat App and Supported Hardware for the Coach App.
According to the AppStore licensing terms, a rowing club will need a separate license for each device they intend to use Rowing in Motion on. This is different from the licensing scheme for individuals, where you are entitled to use the App on all devices that you own (e.g.your iPhone and iPad).
There are two ways to deploy Rowing in Motion, depending on whether you plan to have your athletes bring their own device or have the club supply it like a strokewatch. One thing they have in common is that you have to know How to buy an App as a Gift and redeem coupon codes that is generated for this gift.
Bring your own device
When athletes bring their own device, the easiest way to deploy Rowing jn Motion s to have the club buy a separate license of the Boat App for each athlete and hand it to them via a coupon code (also known as “buy as a gift”). The club needs an iTunes account for this to work. One downside of this approach is that the club doesn’t actually own the licenses but instead its the athletes who own them after redeeming the coupon code. The club will have to buy a new license for every new athlete. The upside however (and this is a huge benefit) is that the club doesn’t have to buy and manage a set of iPhone devices for their athletes. This is a huge saving in up-front cost for the club.
On club devices
If you want to provide devices and the Apps to your athletes, the club needs its own iTunes account and has to tie all owned device to this account. Since a license is required for every device you intend to use the App with, you need to buy multiple licenses using gift codes and but this time redeeming all of them in the clubs iTunes account. All club devices are then linked to the same iTunes account and a copy of the App is installed via the App Store (alternatively, you can transfer the App by syncing all phone with iTunes).
To keep things practical, we recommend you keep a simple spreadsheet of the devices you have and how many licenses have been assigned. It’s probably the easiest to appoint someone to manage all your clubs devices used for Rowing in Motion. You will also occasionally have to ensure you’re running the lates version of Rowing in Motion and install updates. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to manage multiple iPhones. You could use the tools for enterprise device administration, but they’re a bit overkill to be fair.
We also recommend you get a charger bay / powerdock where you can keep and charge all devices
I’d like to let you know that the newly founded In Motion Software & Sports Technology GmbH has now taken over all “Rowing in Motion”-related business. Existing customers won’t be affected by this change. I hope this step will provide further opportunities to enhance and grow the product and enables us to continue to deliver innovative and effective solutions to the rowing community.
And now on to something even more exciting. I am still looking for a partner to help growing this product from 150 to 15.000 customers. If you are a dedicated rower, have some prior business or startup experience, a good network in the rowing community and want to be part of this exciting venture, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You asked for it, you’ll get it. We are making good progress for an Android version of Rowing in Motion. We have hit our first milestone and rebuilt the technical foundation for sensor data processing and make it compatible with both iOS and Android platforms. While the UI still needs some work (basically we log everything to a text field right now) we think we will be able to run a beta-program by end of may.
So… if you want to join our beta-program you should sign up to our mailing list and we’ll invite you to the beta program once we’re ready.
We are also completely swapping out the technical underpinnings of the App. While the Rowing in Motion iOS App was an App natively developed for iOS with Objective-C and a few bits of C-Code, we decided Rowing in Motion 3.0 is going to be a complete reimplementation in C# using MonoTouch and MonoAndroid. This will also allow us to target Windows Phone platforms in the future as well as sharing core algorithms with Analytics (which is written in C# and F#).
What can we expect to see?
We will port all features of the Boat App one by one. In the future, new features will be added to both plattforms simultaneously. The Android Boat App will of course be compatible with the iOS Coach App. Speaking of the Coach App, we will most likely not port it in the near future, although we may need to swap out the technical foundation of it. The realtime video processing we do in the Coach App is currently not possible on Android devices because it lacks the required API’s to do so. We are thinking about a “viewer” app though that allows you to view all data via WiFi (so basically a Coach App without Video-functions).
As part of the reimplementation of the Android App, we are also reimplementing the iOS App. Apple is expected to bring some serious changes along with iOS7 and we will most likely try to exploit that for the iOS re-release. That also means we will drop support for the iPhone 3G.
Pricing Model Changes
We will try something new with the next release and split up the features of the App into a set of smaller In-App purchases. We hope to lower the bar of entry to try the system while at the same time keeping the lights on in the office. Don’t worry, we will not take away any existing features, we are rather thinking about doing that for new features.
We have implemented a bunch of changes to make it easier for rowers to evaluate Rowing in Motion. We hope that all these changes take a bit of friction out of the process and make your journey a little easier.
Smart App Banner
We have integrated a “smart app banner” on our website that allow visitors on an iOS 6 devices to jump directly into to the AppStore and download the Lite App.
Ok, this is actually not so new, but hey We know Rowing in Motion is a bit more expensive than most other Apps you have probably bought, so we think it’s important you have a chance to really try it before deciding to shell out some bucks for it. The Lite App is free and has all the features of the full version – but it’s limited to showing data for 20 strokes only. We hope this is a fair compromise to let you see whether it works for you and if you like it.
First time Introduction
When you launch the App for the first time, you’ll be greeted by a short click-through introduction that walks you through the most important features of the app and how to use it in the boat. That bit is quite important, as most of the issues we hear about are related to not mounting the iPhone correctly in the boat. If you haven’t done so already, pleeeeease read the instructions here. The introduction also has links to the relevant sections of our website where you can find more detailed descriptions of certain topics.
Since version 2.1, the Apps also integrate a user guide that you can access from the “info” button in the top left corner. The user guide works similar to the introduction and covers the features of the App in more detail. The user guide also has links to relevant parts of our website.
Can we make it even easier?
If you have an idea how we can improve the process for fellow rowers that want to give Rowing in Motion a try, just shoot me an email to email@example.com and we’ll make sure to do the best we can.