While what we do at Chaotic Moon is pretty complex, at the end of the day, our mission is simple: We solve problems with technology. In the case of Project Freewheel, the problem was introduced internally via Tyler Hively, a Chaotic Moon content strategist who uses a wheelchair.
“My sister is an occupational therapist, and she and I were talking about fitness and wheelchair users,” Hively recalled. “We realized that nothing really existed for fitness tracking, and thought, ‘Hey, this is important. Why not create something?'”
Hively broached the topic with our BASE team, who saw a pretty awesome opportunity, and after consulting with professionals who work with wheelchair users on a daily basis, we realized this could be big. So we got to work.
Check out the full story detailing Freewheel and its applications in TechCrunch! (Or in the German version of Wired, if you prefer.)
The result? Freewheel, which features a small device that sits out of the way of the chair’s user and collects a number of data points—from incline and decline to acceleration, speed and distance—using a gyroscope, barometer, accelerometer, Hall Effect sensors and a Bluetooth LE to translate that information to the user’s phone or smartwatch and the associated app.
Per Hively’s request, this data—particularly when combined with wearables that measure heart rate, etc.—can be used for fitness applications. However, the possibilities extend far beyond the fitness realm, and when crowdsourced and aggregated, this data could be used for terrain mapping, making it applicable for hikers, bikers and essentially anyone looking for the easiest (or most challenging) route up a mountain or around a city.
“Freewheel’s potential is limitless,” said Chaotic Moon CEO Ben Lamm, “and we envision the project developing into a global platform with future applications we haven’t yet imagined.”