adidas miCoach

The Power of Data on Gadgets, Web, Desktop & Mobile

  • Collecting data from smart gadgets, automated pairing and data extraction
  • Data analysis and rich visualization
  • Two-way data transfer between web portal, desktop app, smartphone and devices

Context

The Client — adidas — is the world’s most famous producer of sports equipment and clothes for amateur and professional athletes across the globe.

Alongside with the traditional production, the company develops innovative business areas such as first-of-a-kind hardware devices for fitness activity tracking and intelligent software solutions for them — adidas miCoach.

Adidas miCoach product family includes Speed Cell, Pacer Bundle, and Heart Rate Monitor. These gadgets collect various activity statistics such as speed, number of steps, calories burnt, workout time, distance, and heart rate. Devices are connected to a PC/Mac and an iPod/iPhone to pass aggregated data to the miCoach.com. The web solution on the back-end of the portal stores the data, analyses the results, and allows setting new goals and creating individual training plans. In other words, the user gets a professional virtual coach at his sole disposal.

Initially, miCoach device management desktop application was developed by a 3rd party vendor. It had poor usability, design and performance because of certain technology limitations.

adidas needed a comprehensive solution that would meet contemporary technology requirements and correspond to usability expectations, and decided to redesign the desktop sync application. The ultimate goal was to make synchronization process easier and consequently increase devices sales.

During the technology partner selection process, deep domain knowledge and relevant industry expertise of Itransition were identified as the top competitive advantages and helped land the deal.

Challenge

One of the major challenges was the lack of documentation for the legacy application. Itransition team had to investigate the source code of the existing desktop manager to identify functional interactions between features. We decompiled the Java application to understand the solution’s business logic and low level communication algorithms.

Functionality overview

adidas miCoach desktop manager is responsible for the following activities:

  • Synchronization of miCoach devices with the PC/Mac desktop application
  • Data transmission to desktop application
  • Connection to the web portal, data transformation and transfer for aggregated analysis

Variety of data formats

The following data can be extracted from and aggregated on devices for further analysis:

  • Speed Cell collects data on speed, distance, activity efforts;
  • Heart Rate Monitor listens to the user’s heart during workouts and passes the data to Pacer Bundle;
  • Pacer Bundle can be paired with Speed Cells and Heart Rate Monitor on-the-fly to track and aggregate information related to steps and distance, calculate calories burnt in correspondence with activity efforts and heart rate based on the data from multiple sensors.

Extracting data from smart devices

adidas miCoach devices have wireless adaptor and can synchronize the activity stats data collected during the workouts with an iPod/iPhone or a laptop via Wi-Fi. The desktop application allows selecting and syncing necessary devices from the list of found nearby. Once paired with any Speed Cell, Pacer or Heart rate monitor, the application will save the parameters and connect devices automatically any time in the future.

When the devices are connected to a PC/Mac, the user can launch data synchronization process with adidas miCoach.com web portal and pass the data to the analytical web application using SOAP protocols. Connecting desktop application to adidas web portal.

As soon as the data appears on web UI, the application transforms incoming values and displays them as graphs and charts in a comprehensible, easy-to-read shape.

Using miCoach web application athletes can track workout efficiency and find the balance between efforts and results. Based on the information collected users can set up a personal activity plan to achieve desired results. Personal coaching program can be downloaded from the web portal to the desktop application and then synchronized with devices. Thus users will be able to listen to personal coach’s commands through the Pacer Bundle and perform exercises as instructed.

Remote team collaboration and workflow

The development of the desktop app went in parallel with continuous enhancement of the web application and frequent updates of device firmware, thus intensifying collaboration and adding more challenge to the project. Itransition team had to communicate with several teams distributed across the US and Europe who were responsible for miCoach web portal development, mobile applications, and devices firmware enhancements. Within this workflow, we had to develop and test miCoach desktop application using different versions of firmware, enable data extraction and transfer to web UI.

Advanced QA Activities

Itransition’s excelled with miCoach desktop app development and demonstrated a mature QA approach, the Client decided to make Itransition the primary partner for QA and testing of adidas miCoach mobile applications on iOS, Android, and Symbian. Itransition was in charge of full cycle QA, including preparation of acceptance testing documentation, integration testing, automated testing scripts launching, usability testing, and manual testing. Our QA team participated in all development stages, from verification of design and specifications to uploading the final release on the App Store and Google Play Market.

Technologies

The presentation layer of adidas miCoach desktop application is based on Qt framework to meet the Client’s cross-platform requirements.

The business logic layer and the integration layer reside on Boost C++ library to achieve maximum development performance, scalability, and overall stability.

The communication layer leverages HIDAPI C++ library that is used for USB communication, while gSOAP C++ library was applied for SOAP/XML web services communication.

Results

With Itransition’s contribution, adidas successfully released the redesigned desktop application, together with a set of mobile apps. adidas miCoach became extremely popular, and over 5 million users have already installed iOS/ Android mobile applications from App Store and Google Play.

Screenshots

Top-flight club performance directors, who often rely on Pro Zone analysis to track player movement using video systems, will be able to download digital information within a matter of moments.

We have been working to develop a boot with a brain for some time and what we have produced will revolutionize the football industry.

Markus Baumann adidas VP of global football

Highlights

  • Solutions

    Portals

    Social Networking

    Mobility

  • Industries

    Manufacturing

    Retail

  • Technology

    C/C++

    Mobile

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