on the water
Apps and platform for the RP3 indoor rowing machines.
The RP3 rowing platform started with an Android application in 2014 for the newest rowing machine available at that time. It immediately became clear that there was enormous potential for the digitalisation of indoor rowing.
RP3 gave us the assignment of working in iterations to achieve a full rowing platform. Together we decided that this platform would consist of three software products: (1) the RP3 Dynamic iOS and Android applications, (2) the RP3 race screen and (3) the RP3 data analysis platform.
"The RP3 rowing platform needs to become the new standard in the rowing world, for both professional rowers and serious recreational rowers." This meant that the software needed to be able to perform at the highest level worldwide.
- UX and UI design
- Web development
- Native iOS and Android development
There were a variety of challenges for the development of the RP3 rowing platform.
The software for the iOS and Android applications required a high degree of accuracy to translate raw data measured on the rowing machine’s flywheel into information useful to the rower.
When developing the RP3 race screen the biggest challenge was showing the relative location of each individual rower in real time, without attaching a single cable to the rowing machines.
For the data analysis platform we had to take a giant leap in combining data analysis, user interface and user experience. This needed to make it possible to analyse data accurately and in a meaningful way.
To make the difference in the rowing world the various software components need to function in unison. The software for the rowing machines would only be successful if it was accurate and, at the same time, easy to use.
To ensure this accuracy, we work with RP3 Dynamic and champion rowers, both in the Netherlands and abroad. They put maximum effort into testing each iteration of the software we write , so that together we are able to optimise the software to the very highest level.
Our client’s close involvement and the agile working environment enable us to work towards an interim version in each iteration. This is one of the greatest strengths of an agile development process.
iPhone and Android app
The data originating from the magnetic connection to the rowing machine form the starting point for every rower to improve their rowing performance. Using software and mathematics, a data model is developed that the mobile applications use to convert the raw data into meaningful charts and indicators such as stroke length, stroke peak power, stroke rotation, distance rowed, energy and cumulative rowing time.
Both the rower and the trainer can track these data in real time on the iPhone or Android tablet linked to the RP3 rowing machine. This enables trainer and athlete to fine-tune exactly what the training session needs to focus on to achieve maximum improvement in rowing performance.
Thanks to a clever iteration on the first version, no cables are now needed for this real time data synchronisation to the application. All data is transferred swiftly and smoothly via a Bluetooth connection.
For teams all around the world, rowing against each other is one of the most common ways to measure rowing performance and competitive strength.
RP3 League allows users to set up races in which up to 64 rowers can participate simultaneously. Where in the past metres of cable were needed for synchronisation, this is now achieved wirelessly using the Wi-Fi network without any delays or hitches.
The user interface for the race screen is designed so that it can be scaled up to a large surface. This is useful for showing real time race statistics and current positions to the rowers and the audience simultaneously.
Data analysis platform
The main aim of training is to make progress. Progress in rowing performance can be interpreted in different ways. That’s why we developed the RP3 data analysis platform. It provides a central location where all RP3 rowing data (your rowing history) is recorded in a raw state so that analysis can be carried out at any time to measure the exact progression of rowing performance.
Due to a healthy combination of statistics and ease of use, the data analysis platform has established itself as a must-have tool in the rowing world. Ease of use and an elegant design ensure the data analysis platform has a modern look and offers the best experience for analysing rowing data.
The next step in the unique product development process of RP3 Dynamic a bold move by entering a new market. The fitness studio market was a new opportunity for RP3 Dynamic to employ her competitive rowing machines.
Together with RP3 Dynamic and the associated rowing sutio partners we got to work to develop software that could be used within these rowing studios to allow for complete training sessions based on RP3 Dynamic's rowing platform.
RP3 Studio provides an instructor with the ability to develop their own training sessions through a friendly user interface. Training schedules developed by the instructor can be effortlessly streamed to all rowing machines in the room to start a collaborative rowing session.
Developing custom training sessions allows the rowing studios to tailor sessions specifically to each group of attending rowers. For example it's possible to allow for a very intensive rowing session for an experienced group of rowers. It's also possible to develop a very beginner friendly rowing session for newer people. RP3 Studio takes personalized rowing in fitness studios to the next level.
the RP3 apps
A wide range of technical expertise needed to be brought together to create all the components of the entire RP3 platform.
The mobile apps for RP3 Dynamic were native-written in Kotlin and Swift, for Android and iOS respectively. These apps connect with the ergometers using Bluetooth or USB. Workout results can be sent to the online platform via an API.
The race screen, written using React, sets up real time connections between the apps and the screen using Firebase. The central projector uses fluent animations to show the progress of a race.
For RP3 Dynamic, software became an important part of the product experience. Even more importantly—we built up a long-term relationship in the process. If you have an interesting idea then get in touch with Joris to discuss your plans.