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Austrian startup Runtastic launches new indoor fitness apps with hardware

Run­tas­tic, the Euro­pean fit­ness app start­up which debuted in 2009, is expand­ing its suite to include indoor exer­cise as well as out­door, after spec­tac­u­lar suc­cess in 2012.

As chief rev­enue offi­cers or busi­ness devel­op­ment asso­ciates can tes­ti­fy, any fledg­ling fit­ness app firm not only has to carve out a unique space in a teem­ing mar­ket, it has to face some real Goliaths, too.  Big beasts like Nike, Run­K­eep­er and Map­My­Fit­ness have cor­nered large swathes of this par­tic­u­lar com­mer­cial jungle.

Fit­ness moves indoors in time for the winter

But Run­tas­tic has undoubt­ed­ly been savvy in devel­op­ing a unique appeal.  Its apps pro­vide a sim­pler user expe­ri­ence than the more pro-ori­en­tat­ed prod­ucts, while still offer­ing the stronger func­tion­al­i­ty found at the high-end of the mar­ket.  Its apps and online ser­vices are designed to encour­age new­bies and hard­core vet­er­ans alike to shape up and stay fit, track­ing and ana­lyz­ing fit­ness data and offer­ing words of encour­age­ment to get off the couch and get exercising.

Its nine orig­i­nal apps focused on out­door exer­cis­es like run­ning and cycling.  The four new apps con­cen­trate on indoor fit­ness train­ing plans, all devel­oped by expert train­ers and aimed at boost­ing users’ sta­mi­na and strength by tar­get­ing sets of rep­e­ti­tions, whether it be sit-ups, squats, pull-ups or push-ups.  Voice train­ing accom­pa­nies the fit­ness plans, cre­at­ing the illu­sion of hav­ing a per­son­al train­er beside you as you crunch those abs, and an accelerom­e­ter and prox­im­i­ty sen­sor track how many reps you’ve got­ten through.

Apps with atti­tude – and hardware

The new “Fit­ness App Col­lec­tion” range comes with a GPS-enabled watch that tracks heart rate along with a chest strap that does the same, and it’s avail­able for the Web, iOS and Android.  Android users have an addi­tion­al fea­ture to play with if they opt for the PRO ver­sion. They can watch in 3D video a moment-by-moment birds-eye view of the course they’ve just cycled or run, thanks to inte­gra­tion with Google Earth.

The com­pa­ny boot­strapped its way for­ward from its launch in 2009, but start­ed mak­ing real mon­ey this year.  Its apps have now col­lect­ed 14 mil­lion down­loads, 10 mil­lion of which occurred since January.

Cur­rent­ly, Runtastic’s hard­ware offer­ings are only avail­able in Europe, but its chef tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer and co-founder, Chris­t­ian Kaar, has announced that they’ll launch in the U.S. ear­ly in the New Year.

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