Plenty of mobile phone apps will track your outdoor activity, but ApresActive creates a photo to show your friends what path you took.
“It’s the initial push into augmented reality in outdoor adventure. That’s what we are bringing to the market,” co-founder Tyler Fischer said in an interview.
Fischer was one of six company founders who presented at a showcase Wednesday held by the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs for its recent graduates and for other local startup companies that have new ideas to pitch to investors.
SCAPE is an intensive six-month program that provides an equity investment and mentoring to entrepreneurs to help them develop a product, launch it and find investors. It is supported by investors, local businesses and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Region 9, La Plata Economic Development Alliance, the city of Durango and the Small Business Development Center.
The program, founded in 2013, has launched 19 companies that employ more than 60 people.
At Wednesday’s showcase, the program invited investors and the public to hear pitches by local entrepreneurs. If any idea interests someone, they can choose to invest in the business.
ApresActive is still testing and refining its app, but when it is released in the fall, users will be able to overlay their path on a personal photo or one taken by someone else, if it’s not protected by copyright. The color of the path – or “litline” – will also indicate how fast the user was traveling. Once created, the photo with the user’s path can be shared across platforms.
ApresActive expects to be the first app to enter the market with this kind of visualization.
The app can also track when users take photos of each other, even if the users don’t know each other. If users opt into this feature, they can have photos that others take of them sent to them automatically by other users. GPS tracks a user’s progress and helps to determine if one user appears in another’s photograph.
The app will allow users to tag the gear they used as well, with links to websites where it can purchased, he said. ApresActive and the person who tagged the gear will split a commission if someone buys the gear within 30 days of clicking the links to the gear websites.
ApresActive will also earn money by aggregating data about groups of users and selling the data to ski resorts and other outdoor companies to help them better understand habits of their customers or potential customers. Similar apps, such as Strava, aimed at cyclists and runners, also aggregate and sell user data.
After the second phase of development, users will be able use the app to pan around them to see all the paths other users have taken in a certain location, which will be overlayed on the landscape, Fischer said. The paths of users traveling in real time will also be visible. It will allow users to see well-traveled routes and potential areas to avoid.
Guide services and other outdoor adventurers have shown interest in ApresActive when Fischer and other members of his team have talked with them about it. Many guides are already tagging the gear they use on social media without being compensated for it, he said.
Fischer had the idea for the app while skiing in Telluride with his friends, but it could be used with any outdoor activity, such as rock climbing, snowshoeing, four-wheeling, running, hiking and others, he said. The company’s goal is to break even in the first year with 61,000 users, he said.