adidas needed a comprehensive solution meeting latest technology requirements and corresponding to usability expectations when looking to revamp its award-winning miCoach device management back-end application.
The customer — 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 receives 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. Based on that, adidas decided to redesign the desktop sync application. The ultimate goal was to make the 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.
One of the major challenges was the lack of documentation of 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.
Adidas miCoach desktop manager is responsible for the following activities:
The following data can be extracted from and aggregated on devices for further analysis:
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.
Using miCoach web application athletes can track workout efficiency and find the balance between efforts and results. Based on the data collected, users can set up a personal activity plan to achieve the 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.
The development of the desktop app went in parallel with continuous enhancement of the web application and frequent updates of device firmware, thereby 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.
Itransition’s excelled at miCoach desktop app development and demonstrated a mature QA approach. Therefore, the customer 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.
The presentation layer of adidas miCoach desktop application is based on Qt framework to meet the customer’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.
I wanted to thank you for all the hard work on the miCoach Manager. I know it was an up-and-down project, but we got it to a very good state by the end. It was definitely a learning experience for me and I thank you for your patience and hard work.