There are many people who just can’t get up on time. Deep sleepers, dozers, general sleepy-heads. Phone alarms don’t help all that much, because the snooze button’s always there, to hit and fall right back asleep. Walk Me Up! is an App that will not stop ringing, loud and clear, until you pick up your phone and walk a few steps, ensuring that you’re actually awake.
Abhinay Bagaria and Mohamed Shabaz Moosa are final year students of the Manipal Institute of Technology. Bangalore based student entrepreneurs and owners of Bazinga Labs, a mobile apps development start up they focus on creating productivity driven apps.
A self-confessed, inveterate sleeper himself, Bagaria often complained to his techie partner Moosa, that he had a hard time waking up. The ‘snooze’ button was just too easy, and it wasn’t helping his cause, which was to be up and alert and on time.
Bagaria and Moosa put their heads together and spent some of their waking hours constructively, and came up with Walk Me Up! Moosa handles the coding and development while Bagaria takes care of marketing and promoting the app.
It operates like any other phone alarm, except for the critical differentiato: the alarm won’t stop ringing until you get up, pick up your phone and walk a few steps. While this app has a ‘snooze’ option as well, it has an ‘evil mode’ that deactivates the snooze option altogether, forcing the reluctant sleeper to get up and walk.
Speaking to us, Bagaria said, “Walk Me Up! was launched in March 2013 and has registered almost 50,000 downloads already.” Presently available only for Android Smartphone (and can be downloaded at http://www.tinyurl.com/walkmeup), Bagaria and Moosa are working on getting an iOs version ready in a couple of weeks, followed by a BlackBerry version. A Windows version is also being planned. The app has been widely written about in some tech blogs and has a number of positive reviews by users on its Google Play download page.
The app is available in both free and paid versions. Bagaria says that the free version is obviously more popular that the paid one which costs around Rs 165 and has only been downloaded on a few hundred phones this far. Bazinga’s revenue model depends on advertisements in the free version and money generated from the paid version. Bagaria didn’t wish to disclose what sort of monies they have generated with ads this far.
Speaking about the sensors on the various Android phones, Bagaria explained that getting the app to react and respond to movements on different phones was the biggest challenge. But after a lot of research using pedometres, accelerometres and Smartphone sensors, Bagaria and Moosa managed to get the app to react and operate according to the unique levels of sensitivity of each phone. The duo have tried making the app cheat proof by heightening the sensors in order to determine if a person is really walking or just shaking the phone a few times to give the impression that he is walking.
Available for Android 2.2 and above, the app allows you to set a pre-determined number of steps you must take before you’re sure you’ll be up. There is voice assistance that tells you how many steps you have actuallytaken. It also allows you to change the length of the snooze time.
Explaining their promotional plans, Bagaria explained that he had sent a number of emails personally to a large number of websites and media houses. It took a while for the app to start garnering attention, but once it started, the response in his own words has been “overwhelming.” Bagaria and Moosa are hopeful of Walk Me Up’s success in the near future and expect its uniqueness to help gather eye balls and downloads.
Bagaria is currently pursuing his Bachelors in Engineering (Computer Science) and has an entrepreneurial streak. His previous venture was EngineeringDuniya.com.
Moosa is a final year CSE student and been a web developer for over 3 years and a thoroughbred techie who codes and reads about technology all the time. He has helped develop more than 20 websites and portals.