(Created October 2010)
The Monumental app was developed to make people more mindful about climbing steps and turn the everyday experience of taking the stairs into something social and fun.
As users climbed stairs in the real world, Monumental had them virtually climbing world-famous monuments such as the Empire State Building and Leaning Tower of Pisa. When users reached the top of a monument, they were treated to a real-world view and got to collect one of three souvenirs to commemorate the trip.
Monumental also capitalized on the importance of social support: it tracked the number of steps users climbed, allowing them to connect and share their numbers with others on Facebook. The app even gave users the opportunity to invite friends for a group climb up Mount Olympus.
Working on Monumental taught us a great deal about the challenges and costs of native app development. This in turn led us to focus on HTML5 web-optimized applications in the early phase of development for Daily Challenge.
The app also exposed us to the different ways to properly capture a user’s steps. We first created a proprietary algorithm for detecting steps using the iPhone accelerometer. We then experimented with using a gyroscope in combination with the accelerometer to detect stair climbing versus walking, but we found that the level of accuracy was too low.
Monumental is no longer available, but you can take steps toward improved well-being by signing up for Daily Challenge.