The Nokia Sports Tracker

As you might heard Nokia is pushing connected location based devices and context aware Internet services. They announced Ovi in August 2007, a portal for consumers to get to and share music, games and maps.Now they have started a beta version of a sports tracking portal that extends their GPS enabled mobile phones. Funny enough, this is not integrated into Ovi but a standalone website for now. But let’s take a closer look.

With Nokia Sport Tracker you can keep track of training activities like running, cycling, skiing, and driving (of course!). First you need to register with the Nokia Sport Tracker site, set up your profile and download the Sports Tracker application for your phone. Sport Tracker basically works with all Nokia phones running the S60 software. See a full list of supported Nokia phones here. Then of course you need a GPS enabled phone. Either one that comes with GPS as a standard (e.g. the N95, N82, 6110 Navigator), or one you can pair with an external GPS receiver, like the nifty Nokia LD-4W.

Nokia Sports Tracker Website

Here is the route of my first go at using Sports Tracker. I did a quick drive around the area of my office. All you have to do is start the Sport Tracker application. Then select “new workout” from the menu und press “start”. Sports Tracker on N95Now the clock starts ticking and the tracking begins. It took a while for the N95 I used to pick up the GPS signal, but then everything was cool. The application started to record time, speed, elevation, and the route I was driving.

After I did my lap I simply pressed “stop” and then uploaded my workout to the portal straight from the phone.

Now back to the Sports Tracker web site where I can see the route I was driving and a nice graph of the speed and time it took me to get around my lap. I can’t wait to take this to a proper track next spring.

While I think this is a great demonstration of how to extend the physical Nokia phone products to the web, I wonder how many athletes will make use of Sports Tracker in the long run, literally.

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One thought on “The Nokia Sports Tracker

  1. I guess this might be interesting:
    http://mobilementalism.com/2008/01/10/nokia-no-longer-just-a-device-company/
    Especially this part:

    For example, in 2007, Nokia spent $8 billion on mapping company Navteq, showing how serious it was about entering the GPS market. Its new 2008 line-up will feature a plethora of GPS phones, but it’s not just about providing Sat-Nav to your mobile.

    “We’re not in the business of not making money from investments. Navteq is a profitable business, but if you were to view the [$8bn] investment as a standalone operation, you could question it. But if you replicate that business in, say, 50 million cars, and then move that to three billion mobile phones around the world, the economics suddenly start to look very different. The long vision is that [people] expect GPS in phones like they expect Bluetooth. And GPS is only useful if you have a mapping device.”

    In other words, a world class mapping service will drive the sales of handsets. If Nokia owns that mapping service, and it’s tied into its handsets more than its competitors, then people will choose Nokia phone over and above its competitors’.


    Nokia as a content company

    What all this means is that Nokia is trying to tie its content into its mobile devices in order to differentiate itself from other mobile phone manufacturers. However, although this is an interesting strategy, and one that will succeed in parts (particularly with GPS), I can’t see it succeeding much in areas such as music. If anything, it’s no different than the walled garden approach that failed so dismally for the network operators.

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