ios development for iphone and ipad

Case Study

Open split time (ost remote)

Live Tracking Endurance Races Data

OpenSplitTime is a free resource built by endurance athletes for the ultra community. OpenSplitTime makes it easy to collect, store, and play with endurance event data.

Team

  • Mariano Rozanski (Solutions Architect)
  • Luciano Castro (iOS Developer)
  • Voltage Design (Graphic Design)

Categories

  • iOS mobile app

CASE

OpenSplitTime is a free resource built by endurance athletes for the ultra community. It makes it easy to collect, synchronize, and validate event data and allows family and friends to track their loved ones’ progress in challenging and often remote terrains.

Endurance races take place in beautiful, scenic regions, sometimes secluded and with limited phone connectivity. Runners and organizers face natural challenges like heat, rain, sandstorms, snow, lack of water, and difficult terrain.

“Timers,” located at different aid stations along the course, are responsible of recording all the details about the arrival and departure of participants, including times, the presence of a pacer, and if the participant continues or drops there.

CHALLENGE

“Tracking and updating the runners’ status in terrain without internet”

Given the remoteness of the terrain where endurance races usually take place, internet connectivity is either limited or non-existent. Originally, before OST Remote, start and end times were manually collected at aid stations and then communicated via radio to a different station with an internet connection, where event staff could update the OST servers online.
Radio communication could break, causing errors in logging participant’s details to the OST server. Also, this created several potential failure points at which data could be confused. For example, handwritten data could be misread, data communicated by radio could be heard incorrectly or written down incorrectly, or data at the base station could be misread or entered incorrectly.
Later, once the event had finished, timers could use the handwritten information to review and correct, if necessary, what was uploaded to the OST server.

ISSUES

“Innacurate Data and Rework”

  • The original process was time-consuming
  • Potentially inaccurate data was temporarily published on the OST website until fixes were made at the end of the race
  • Validating the data on the server required time and eye for detail
  • Data collected in paper could be lost or damaged before it could be used to review the published information.

SOLUTION

“Let’s go offline”

Create a mobile iOS app that could run offline, and provide each station with tablets or smartphones with the OST mobile app. The app should allow making updates on the go, and highlighting erroneous or duplicate bib numbers, as well as display the participants names and numbers, so corrections can be made on the spot. Once all the runners have gone through the aid station, the timing crew can move to an area with internet reception and upload all data to the OST server with just one simple tap.

Creative Process

iOS Mobile App for iPads and iPhones.

Solutions Architecture

iOS development done on xCode for iPhone and iPad integrating with opensplittime.org database to keep the public information on the website up to date.

Backend developed in Ruby on Rails.

Quality Assurance

  • Test Scenarios Definition 
  • Quality Assurance cycles performed during each sprint

Agile Scrum

Agile Scrum Methodology for Distributed Teams was utilized to keep the developers and QA professionals up to date and aware of changes and news. The Technical Leader, the client, and the Project Manager would have meetings once a week to set new goals and expectations, which were translated into stories in Jira and assigned to the team at the beginning of each sprint.

Team Management

The development team was a distributed in United States and South America. Open communication was kept using Slack, Zoom, and Atlassian Jira.

The Results

  • Fragile radio communication can be eliminated.
  • Data capture at aid stations takes much less time than manually.
  • The accuracy of real-time data can be greatly improved.
  • The timing crew is spending much less time in the process of collecting and reviewing data. In one example, a single volunteer can now do the work that previously required 3 or 4 timing volunteers at race headquarters.

TESTIMONIALS

“We ran OST Remote on three iPad Minis, and the timing crew loved it. One timer told me she had helped at many grassroots races, and this timing system was the best she had ever used.”

“OST Remote is just great. There are plenty of ways we can make it better, but it is a solid little app and does the job it was designed to do in a pleasing and minimalist way.”

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