Running in circles – Over engineering needs to be put into context

British Heart Foundation RunYesterday I participated in the ‘British Heart Foundation’s 10Km Run’ at the O2 in London and realised that technology is being over engineered for some pointless things.10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Go!

Beep Beep and we are off. The beep beep in question is my friend’s watch which will time us around the course. At least that’s what I thought it was for.

Today’s runners can’t merely keep time, they need accuracy, they need to know every inch of tarmac their feet pound across. The way this is done is not by calculating the speed of the runner and how long they have run for as I was taught many moons ago but rather by a piece of metal in Space.

The reason for my bemused demeanor was because I was thinking ‘Where will you share this information’?! For me, information must always be recorded, stored, shared but most importantly put into context. However, if it is being used to record time (as the distance was pre-defined) then is there a need for an orbiting object to geo-track my friend’s wrist?

I will confess however, I am very keen on getting an app for my phone which will track my running distances and map it out via Facebook. The reason why this makes sense to me versus my friend’s watch is competition and information sharing. In the previous case there was only a need to record information. When the objective changes to sharing information and a predefined variable is not present GPS becomes relevant.

To put it into context, the phone is able to recorded, stored, shared but most importantly contextualise why I am running unlike the watch.

On my ending note, you will be pleased to know that I beat my personal best with a time of 56 minutes with an average speed of 10.7142 kmh, which was worked out on a trusty calculator (and proofed on Google)!

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