The innovative TAO WellShell became CES 2014 award finalist. As key technology partner, Melon develops the accompanying app, from UX design to Android development and quality assurance.
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Back in 2011, TAO Wellness was an intriguing, under-the-radar startup working in a complete secret on a small shell of a device they had grand plans for. They were looking for an outsourcing partner to develop the mobile software to complement their device. Beyond that, they were looking for an extended team that would not only execute the technical tasks but also participate in the specification of the user experience and interface of the TAO Wellness mobile app. Melon’s track record placed us among the IT companies TAO Wellness singled out and, eventually, selected Melon to carry out their Android development.
Fast forward two years and TAO WellShell is unveiled with a bang: the innovative isometric wellness system becomes a finalist in the Best of CES 2014, Sports and fitness category. The device is expected to reach the market by the end of 2014. This is also when the accompanying Android app Melon has been building and expanding all this time will be published.
In the beginning, our client requested the implementation of an app that would connect via Bluetooth to an isometric exercise device.
The software had to measure and graph the pressure exerted on the device and offer workout guidance and feedback. An important requirement was to develop an app that is server-independent - fully functional without an Internet connection. In this first phase, Tao Wellness and Melon’s team worked extensively on the app’s architecture regarding a diligent set of requirements and high-level design in the context of the whole TAO ecosystem including the WellShell device and the online services.
The vision of TAO Wellness is “To provide every individual with a simple, effective, and motivating way to enhance fitness and wellness – anywhere, anytime.” Aligned with this goal, Melon implemented an app that tracks your lifestyle, both physical activity and calorie intake, analyzes all available data and gives you feedback on how to improve.
"It was miraculous to see how a simple idea became a new discipline in the field of wellness."
Kostadin Yanev, Founder
To support the development process within a constantly evolving and expanding project scope, we adopted the agile methodology. It was the only approach as flexible, fast and efficient as our combined teams.
Meeting tight deadlines became especially crucial as CES 2014 was nearing. Even in this hectic period, Melon kept delivering results within deadline, as we had done consistently throughout the two years working on this project.
In the last project stage, before CES 2014, the main focus was on perfecting the user experience and interface (UX & UI). The challenge was to simplify the app and make it super intuitive, while accommodating its vast feature set. Melon’s UX and UI specialists collaborated with our client in the conceptualization of the mobile interface design and then developed it for the Android version of the app.
Melon also authored the low-level design documentation of the Android app, under our client’s strict ISO standard requirements. Moreover, we assisted in the technical testing.
The main characteristic of the TAO Wellness project has been its constant evolution. As the R&D work behind the device was advancing, so were the requirements for the application. This was also the biggest challenge – to implement a vast array of features, all within strict deadlines.
One of the app’s central features is the 3D graphics that illustrate each isometric exercise. These images can be rotated and zoomed for the user to study how to properly perform each pose. The development and optimization of the engine rendering these 3D graphics within the application was one of the main technical challenges.
The current version of the app can track your physical activity and nutrition throughout the day, analyze all information you input (such as calorie intake) and guide you into healthier eating and exercising habits. It contains a rich database of foods, exercises and health regimens, which allow for user input and modification. Its calendar component helps you follow your program and log your progress.
Kept in secret until a couple of months before CES 2014, TAO WellShell became a media star after becoming Best of CES awards Finalist. It was picked up by the major tech websites such as CNET, PCWorld, Mashable, Tom's Guide, VentureBeat, 148Apps, The Verge and GeekBeat.
"We've worked with Melon for 2 years, through which they have shown all the qualities a startup can look for in a longterm partner: quality delivered consistently and within deadline, relevant and actionable feedback to our ideas and the right attitude. Melon's team is not only friendly and cooperative, but also deeply involved into our project - the kind of personal approach that is so hard to find in working with a remote dedicated team.”
Philo Northrup, President & Co-Founder
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