Another neat hack idea being demoed here at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin is an app for helping support runners during races by sending personal voice messages to keep them feeling motivated.
The Cheer My Friend app doesn’t need supporters to download an app in order to work — only the runner needs the app on their device. Then they share a link with their support group ahead of time — which lets friends and family record short voice messages to be delivered to them during the race.
Runners will need to be running with a mobile device plus headphones to receive the messages. A mobile connected smartwatch plus earbuds would also work.
Built by a team of five semi-pro hackathon attendees who’ve flown in from Finland, presenter Tuomas Koskinen says the idea was inspired because members of the team are keen marathon runners and had used some existing support apps that translate text to speech which they felt just weren’t personal enough.
“When you are really pushing yourself in marathon you need something more human. The thing is you are there in a huge crowd of people and you don’t really know any of them because everybody’s running their own race and they are there for their own reasons. Especially amateur runners don’t have that personal support. That’s the main issue that drove us,” he says.
Another element he said they’d hoped to add was a runner-tracking map view to show supporters where they are in real time. Sadly they ran out of time for that — but Koskinen says they definitely want to keep working on the project.
Their website for the app is Cheermyfriend.com.