Stu­dents hack gym cheats with new app

CityPress - - News -

Those who visit gym just to get ben­e­fits from their med­i­cal aids’ well­ness pro­grammes are in for a rude sur­prise.

Five third-year soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents from the Univer­sity of Johannesbu­rg have de­vised an app that could bust those who stroll in and out of the gym with­out do­ing any ex­er­cise – ex­cept clock­ing loy­alty points.

They show­cased the app at the Dis­cov­ery GradHack Hackathon, held at the Joz­iHub from July 27 to 29, and walked away as the over­all win­ners.

The app can tell, us­ing a gym­goer’s mo­bile phone, just how much ex­er­cise re­ally hap­pened in be­tween the gym’s en­trance and the exit.

The in­for­ma­tion is then re­layed to a live web­site that med­i­cal aids can con­nect to us­ing the app.

This way med­i­cal aids can tell if a mem­ber of their well­ness pro­gramme has done any ex­er­cise.

The app will en­able them to pe­nalise those mem­bers who clock in to the gym only to score ex­tra points.

“We think the tech we used was a big rea­son we won,” said Michael Brooke, co-leader of the Red Hot Techie Pep­pers stu­dent team.

“We could show ev­ery­one how swip­ing an An­droid phone on a ma­chine’s NFC tag fed the ex­er­cise stats into our live web­site feed.”

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