I just came back from a very exciting (and tiring) two days in Baltimore, where I was invited for the final of the Armour39 Challenge.
It all started in November last year, when Under Armour decided to crowd source their R&D and the future of their Armour 39 platform.
The Armour39 wearable sensor was launched early 2013. Similarly to what UA usually organizes for their Future Show, where last year more than 4000 applicants competed, they crowd sourced software development for this April's Digital Future Show. Given the experience I have with wearable technology and my passion for running, I thought it was a pretty good match, and decided to give it a try.
I'm gonna start with the outcome of the competition, followed by my thoughts after the whole thing finished, which are certainly biased by the outcome. Then, I'll cover in detail my submission.
The competition was divided into three phases. We had first to submit a proposal outlining our idea (sometime in November). 50 proposals were selected and moved on to the second phase. At this stage we all received a development kit including the A39 sensor and an SDK to access the non-standard data stream (i.e. everything that is not heart rate). We had between January and March to develop our prototypes, and had to submit a video and report (see below for both of them). Up to 15 projects were selected and moved on to the final phase, consisting of a presentation in Baltimore at the Digital Future Show. Eventually it was only 5 teams reaching the final: