The beginnings of KinFit: KinFit Hiker
In the summer of 2018, as the Kin Foundation unveiled the first Kin Developer Program, we first came upon the idea for a fitness app that paid users in Kin for getting in better shape. As a professional world traveler and airline pilot, dealing with constant circadian rhythm disruptions, endless hours seated and sedentary, I knew firsthand how important it was to keep moving, even when tired, even when I didn’t want to.
I realized years ago that walking is perhaps the most easily accessible exercise activity for the majority of people. The only equipment you need to walk is a decent pair of shoes and the desire to get moving. Walking is one of the best ways people can help themselves to sleep better, lose weight and strengthen their cardiovascular system. Walking lowers the risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and depression.
Research shows that people who walk more simply live longer. Indeed, research suggests that for every hour a person walks, their lifespan may be extended by as much as two hours.
And as a cancer and motor vehicle accident survivor myself, walking has been my exercise of choice for several years now. Almost everyone can walk, and almost everyone should walk more than they currently do. But so many people simply don’t. They are exhausted from their jobs — their days are full of sitting, working, and eating… and when they come home, they’re exhausted and simply want to watch TV and go to bed. It’s a deadly cycle.
How can we encourage people to get up, get off the couch, put on their trainers and get moving? Last year, with the announcement of the first Kin Developer’s program, I had the idea for KinFit Hiker. It was kind of a “Couch to Crypto” epiphany for me… why don’t we PAY people to WALK? The Kin Ecosystem seemed to be the perfect platform to do this.
Life got in the way and for a while, my life got very busy. We undertook a cross country move from Seattle to rural Montana. “If only I had more free time!” I told myself. In the back of my mind, though, was a nagging little detail… I simply had no idea how to build an app.
So I shelved the KinFit Hiker project in my head for a while.
With the coming of fall and winter, however, life slowed down enough for me to start thinking again about KinFit once again. While the snowstorms of Montana raged outside, I started sketching out my idea. How could we encourage people to move more? How could we incentivize them to take control of their physical health and feel better? And how the heck do you build an app?
I wrote a whitepaper about my app concept, titled “KinFit Hiker,” and floated it to a few folks. It seemed to be well received, even excitedly so. Courtney, my partner and wife, worked with me to create a powerpoint presentation, and together we flow-charted the user experience we had in mind. I worked out the math on Kin rewards per step, and I conceptualized how to best incentivize the user. We bought books on Android and iOS app design and waded into the subject. I started using some tutorial videos and online app design products… and soon, I was designing my first basic, rudimentary apps on Android.
It didn’t take long, however, until I realized how much I didn’t know, and how complicated the app would need to be to meet the needs of millions of users transacting on the Kin Blockchain. New phraseology came into my life — API, the Kin SDK, Backend, UI/UX, Python, Github Commits… the list of things I knew little about was growing quickly. In the meantime, the Kin Foundation had announced the second Kin Developer’s program… and the race was on.
Realistically, I knew I didn’t have the skills necessary, nor the time to learn them, to bring the KinFit Hiker concept to life. Very early on, I started looking for skilled, professional Developer help. I had already found my first partner, Courtney, so together we started talking to folks who knew their way around Kin, App Development, and Blockchain in general.
Courtney is a brilliant UI/UX designer with significant experience in web and graphics design, and when I first started bouncing KinFit ideas off her last year, she was incredibly helpful. When I got down to the serious business of designing the app, she was the first person I asked to join in.
Not long after that, we started talking about KinFit with the man who would become our Lead Developer, Luc Hendriks.
Luc is a fellow Kin Community member, technology entrepreneur and Computer Scientist based in the Netherlands. After some exciting conversations about the possibilities the app represents, we had a meeting of the minds. The three of us decided to partner together to create KinFit.
MEET THE KINFIT TEAM
COURTNEY WEATHERMAN, Co-Founder, UI/UX and Graphics Design, App Designer & Webmaster
Courtney is a web and graphic designer, as well as a contributor and creator of KinFit. She has worked on websites and various projects for the University of Montana, UM’s Media Arts Department, Mountain Dog Overland, HIBeautifulTours, and others.
This is her first project working with cryptocurrency and the Kin Blockchain, and as a former runner, is excited by the idea of earning rewards for meeting her step goals each day.
“I love using my FitBit but wasn’t really motivated by just getting a fireworks gif on my screen. My first big goal for KinFit is to save up some Kin for a Nike gift card, to reward myself with new running shoes.”
LUC HENDRIKS, Managing Technology Partner and Lead Developer, Native/React expert, iOS and Android
Luc Hendriks is a developer, entrepreneur and a PhD student in astrophysics and machine learning. He started his first company in 2009 and has cofounded a successful startup which was acquired by an industry leader in 2017.
In addition to building (web) applications, his childhood dream is to become an astronomer. Now he’s combining both his long term hobby and lifelong dream into a PhD in astrophysics and machine learning.
Luc has a long interest in Bitcoin and blockchain technology and bought his first BTC in July 2013.
“I believe the next wave will come from user adoption of which Kin is in my opinion the most promising project.”
MOOSE WEATHERMAN, Founder and CEO, Conceptual Designer, Administration/Business Model, Director of KinFit Flight Operations
Moose is former US Navy nuclear engineer and submariner, and current Boeing 767 Captain with 25 years of commercial flight experience. He is the father of three, a craft beer brewer and enthusiast and enjoys overlanding and camping in Western Montana. He enjoys long walks, pretty much anywhere.
KinFit is coming to your phone!
The development of the KinFit MVP (minimum viable product) has been interesting, exciting, stressful and rewarding… and is almost done! Having an MVP means that the App can undergo changes to make the user experience, operational metrics or optics better very quickly. Using the MVP approach means a quicker trip to the market, a chance to tweak the basics on the run and a more interesting and engaging App for the user. The MVP of KinFit is almost ready for deployment, and will be launched soon! The iOS version has been completed, and is awaiting approval by the Apple App Store, and construction of the Android version is in the final stages, and will be available on the Google Play Store by the end of April.