PC Magazine’s technology editor Ben Gottesman sent me another dispatch from DEMO: “For the ‘as an avid bicyclist and avid geek, I really, really want this’ category: At DEMO today, a company with the unusual name of Bones in Motion introduced BiM Active, a service that uses GPS-enabled cell phones to help runners and cyclists track their treks. BiM Active will measure speed, distance, and elevation; show your splits (that is, how long each subinterval of your exercise took); and display street maps, topographical maps and satellite maps of your route. “Bones in Motion is first partnering with Sprint, and the company demonstrated the BiM Active on a Sanyo MM-7500 phone. Once you’ve completed your run or your ride, the data is uploaded to BiM Active’s community site, where you can keep the data private or share your routes with others.
The cell-phone-based mapping service will cost $9.99 a month, which is fine, since Americans won’t embrace any sport that they can’t spend money on. But you can also join the BiM Active community for free and manually plot your routes or upload GPS data from a Garmin outdoor GPS or other GPS units. “One very intriguing aspect of BiM Active is that it can rate the difficulty of your trip, so you can easily find other routes that will require similar effort. I was a little concerned that mapping my route and then sharing it would show everyone where I live, since I start from my house nearly every time. One way around this would be to start tracking after you’ve gone a little distance.
Users will have to decide how much detail they’re willing to share. “But if this service pans out to be as good as it looks, I can’t see any serious runner or cyclist not wanting to use it. I’ve been charting my bike rides for years. A couple of times, I’ve tried mobile GPSes; but for the most part, I use Microsoft MapPoint, recalling my trips as best I can. BiM Active should make this a lot easier. “Spring can’t come soon enough to the Northeast.”