Compass is a lifelogging application whose goal is to improve your well-being. Healthways, the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions, assembled a team to build an app that solely uses the devices we carry every day to passively track our habits and behaviors in a manner that was kind and frictionless. Compass gives you the ability to see how each of your activities relates to other areas of your life. Instead of opening your fitness app for exercise data, and your photo app for friends and food photos, and your calendar app for your upcoming meetings – open one app that places it together. Did you take a lot of photos at that meeting yesterday? Did you spend your whole day hiking when it was 60 degrees out last week? Compass can show you all of this in a single elegant interface.
Too many apps these days require constant connection and attention. Log this, track that. Healthways wanted to remove the friction and user bias that comes with manual entry/reporting systems. We showed them how they could leverage the sensors already in the iPhone to track several dimensions of a user’s life without the user having to input anything into the app. In fact, there’s not even a way to input data into Compass. Simply install it and check back later to see your results.
This is a Compass Insight Card from a photo taken in fall of 2015. It’s tagged with passively collected data (the walk around the park (31 min), the great baseball weather (78°), and the city the game was in (Nashville).
Groundbreaking Code & Algorithms
Compass pushes even the latest iPhones to their limits. It fully leverages the iPhone’s sensors and native APIs to give the user a complete picture of their life. We use the Motion Coprocessor for activity, GPS for location, Healthkit for heart rate readings and blood pressure, Photos for your memories, and EventKit for your scheduled appointments. We take all of this data and compress the hundreds of thousands sensor readings into relevant sessions by filtering out noisy and inaccurate data so you get a clear view of your activity. In addition, we also wrote a ton of algorithms to intelligently analyze this torrent of data to offer you personalized insights into your life.
For Compass, we wanted a unique UI that would allow a user to travel through time and visualize their various daily activities in a single place. To accomplish this we built a custom interface that mimics circular orbits around a planet. Scrubbing the orbits lets you move backwards into the past or even forwards into the future. Your daily activities, such as when you took a photo or when you had your highest heart rate for the day, are shown in orbits around a planet that shows your physical activity and location through time. Watch as your life cycles with the sun, the weather, your sleeping patterns, and timeless spinning of your place on earth.
Our experience working with LunarLincoln began when a mutual acquaintance recommended Jonathan Wiley to provide consultative services regarding a mobile application our innovation team was considering to build. While our team was initially considering building the innovative new product in-house, coming out of that meeting Wiley’s deep knowledge and pleasant demeanor immediately made our team reassess the idea that working with an external partner may be our best course of action. Through additional vetting of Jennifer Bennett and the rest of the team at LunarLincoln, we realized that we’d found a gem of talent in the middle of Tennessee and knew that they were who we wanted to partner with.
Out of the gate the entire LunarLincoln team was more responsive, engaging, and thorough than any other vendor that I worked with during my tenure at Healthways. Their attentiveness to details from scoping projects to capturing meeting notes allowed us to always have a running record of what we planned to do and how we were going to get there. As all great tech projects do, our team eventually ventured off scope and began pushing the bounds of the technical limitations of the phone. Thanks to LunarLincoln’s thoroughness in record keeping, at all times we were able to assess what we agreed upon, what needed to be done next, and how much room in the budget we had to get there.
The real benefit in working with the team at LunarLincoln is not just in their attention to detail, but in fact the opportunity to work with world class developers and designers that are able to maintain focus and move projects along like professional project managers. Our development requirements were stretching the limits of our operating system’s capabilities and every time Wiley and the developers solved our problems, we asked them to push the limit a little bit further. Simultaneously Jennifer was helping us build a UI and UX unlike anything else seen on the market. I can honestly say that the only limitations we ever faced were the restrictions placed on us by the operating systems of our phone and even then their team was able to build hacks to address our needs.
The final and ultimate complement I can pay the LunarLincoln team is that working with them is simply a pleasant experience. From scoping projects to developing to new experiences to dealing with our own high maintenance team dynamics, they managed all of the hurdles we threw at them timely, efficiently, and with a smile on their faces. I can’t recommend them highly enough for projects simple to complex.
, Director of Corporate Development, Healthways
Press & Links
- Venturebeat: Meet Compass, a new app that wants to change how you view your health data
- QuantSelfLaFont: The future of quantifying our memories
- Quantified Self: An Interface for Your Life: Compass at QS15