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October 22, 2014

SensorCore and Lumia: My Experience

Our Lumia smartphones play a vital role in our daily lives. Now, with SensorCore’s motion-sensing and tracking capabilities, they can motivate us to stay fit and keep healthy. Here’s a report of my SensorCore experience on my Lumia.

It all started when I took out a bright-green Lumia 630 for a spin to test SensorCore. (I have to admit, I made a couple of my friends and family jealous.)

Geo buzz

After waking at 7 a.m. and getting ready for work, I walked 500 meters from parking to the metro station. By 8 a.m., I was in the metro and had walked another 300 steps.


During the 90-minute metro journey, I sat or stood, entering the “idle” or “sleep’” phase as informed by the  Sensie app on my phone. After the metro ride, I walked a kilometer and arrived at work at 9:30 a.m. In my excitement, I decided to skip the elevator and took stairs to reach my office on the fifth floor. 

I happen to be a sedentary worker (like most of you out there) and prefer a brisk walk in between meals, but this climb pepped me up. I was rewarded with the screen showing 40 calories burned and some 2,550 steps taken, according to my Lumia’s Health & Fitness app.

Around 11 a.m., I traded a coffee break for a quick dash downstairs to check if there were indeed 150 steps leading to my office. Yes, 150 was the count and I gained another 300 steps in the process.

At lunch, I again skipped the elevator, opting to walk instead, and I stared into my Lumia with each passing step. Don’t try this at home as you might bump into someone. Another 200 steps achieved.

By 3 p.m., I had managed just about 3,000 steps! Since I wasn’t too happy with my progress, I didn’t stop walking when I returned to my workstation. I took some extra steps to fetch water, talk on the phone and visit the café and chat up my neighbors.

That turned out great: I touched the 5,000-step mark, but I still hada long way to go as most of my remaining time at work would be spent sitting. Not too happy about that, I leftthe office early at 4:30 p.m. and walked to the metro station.

(I normally prefer to take a taxi but there was something magnetic about the Lumia 630 so I found myself walking again.)

The sun was setting and I had a good 1,000 meters ahead of me. I burned another 40 calories and earned another 2,500 steps. I was hoping to cross the 6,000-step mark, but had to make peace with 5,550 steps.

Then it was time to dash as I still needed to meet my target of 10,000 steps. Did I do it? Keep reading and you’ll find out!

But first let’s look at some apps you can use to experience SensorCore on the go on your Lumia.

Sensie ($1.99)

Sensie copy

This app beautifully mapped my 1.5-hour journey from home to office and showed how much time was spent as idle, walking, or running. It offered a breakdown of my time, showing ‘active’ and ‘sleep’ mode. Offering me a heat map and a map of my moves, Sensie displayed my movements.

Geo Buzz (free)


Cortana can do this, but here is another intelligent app thatsets location-based reminders. For example, on my way back home, I needed to collect some essentials from the market. Sensing my location, Geo Buzz popped up. 

To use, select where you want to be prompted and add your reminder. The next time you visit your desired whereabouts, your Lumia alert will spring into action.As soon as I exited my destination, Geo Buzz alerted me with a message. Very impressive.

Super Checkin (free)

Super Checkin’s location-finding capabilities are much better than Facebook. I just wait for the current location to pop up and the app checks me in on Facebook. I tested this app to see if it could locate a famous building near my office, and Super Checkin identified it easily.

The app also helped me find nearby places and their distance from my location. Though the options and recommendations are few, it is the right beginning.

run rabbit run

And finally, there is Run Rabbit Run, a gaming app that uses SensorCore. I admit that my rabbit still takes a lot of time to run, just like me. Running is not easy, especially if you have a desk job and building stamina takes time.

However, I think that with such great SensorCore-enabled apps and this wonderful motivating game, the rabbit and I will get healthy together!

After dinner, I managed to cross the 10,000-step mark by walking a good two kilometers and at 9 p.m., I saw Health & Fitness app congratulating me on the completion of my goal. What an experience.

Have you taken 10,000 steps a day and made full use of the SensorCore capabilities  on your Lumia? Tell us about your experience and which apps you use the most!