Please stop the constant nagging to calibrate

Chris's Avatar


08 Nov, 2014 12:25 AM

It seems every single time I use Kinetic it wants me to calibrate. It's annoying enough to do this when I'm hitting the trail and just want to press the start button, throw the phone in my pocket, and get down to brass tacks, but it's really just awful if I'm trying to review my logs (because I'm logging activity into another app) and it asks me to calibrate before I can see the information.
Then as soon as I switch back to Kinetic it asks me again. Then if I want to show someone the map of my trip: calibrate. Want to see the altitude and speed data? Calibrate. It's maddening and makes me want to not use the app at all.
When iPhone first came out, it used to ask to calibrate often when using maps. But in recent years, it no longer does that. It just works (and very very very rarely will Maps or TomTom or other gps apps ask to calibrate). Why can't Kinetic do it that way too?
And why can't calibration just happen in the background (maybe a question for Apple).
Finally, as an aside: if my activity is walking, how can it make any sense that I might move several blocks in distance in the blink of an eye? Kinetic should be smart about analyzing the path being followed. If a person is walking along a street or path on the map, it should favor sticking to that path very strongly unless GPS data coming in consistently tells it that I've gone off the street/path. And certainly, if GPS suggests that a person has miraculously materialized a great many feet away and then is back on the original path, Kinetic should discard the anomalous GPS points, and interpolate where they should have been.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Nick on 08 Nov, 2014 10:20 AM

    Nick's Avatar

    Hi Chris,

    Calibration has nothing to do with GPS, its the compass module.

    On the timer screen, scroll down and click edit modules. Then delete the compass module, you should then not be asked again.

    As kinetic tracks many different types of activity, its very difficult to interpolate where the user has been. I normally run off road, so attempting to stick tracks to roads would make my run less accurate. If you can supply an algorithm, then we would be happy to look into it. Certainly things could be improved, and we are looking into using the M7/M8 chips to help out on the newer phones.

    Best Regards


  2. 2 Posted by Chris on 20 Nov, 2014 04:15 AM

    Chris's Avatar

    The compass module! HA! Ok, I never thought to remove it. Thank you so much that was driving me completely bonkers.

    With regard to tracking activity, I would imagine a few criteria would make for reasonable assumptions:

    1) If the user "jumps" in position in what would be a completely impossible move, the assumption should be that one of the two endpoints is wrong. By waiting things out, it should be possible to see whether the user "jumps" back to a position that would be possible to attain from the previous or not. If several impossible jumps persist, then the assumption should be to wait until things stabilize and then assume a straight line for the last good position to the new good position. Drawback to this approach is that if the user enters a building and the signal goes bad, then exits and walks around the building to the back before the signal gets better, Kinetic would assume the user went through the building as opposed to around it. In my opinion, this is more preferable behavior to how it behaves now though.

    2) If the user is on a paved street, always weight gps interpretation to assume user is following the streets in a perfectly straight path. This would require cross-referencing GPS with street data, but other apps do that so it should be possible.

    3) If the user is repeatedly following a path not on a street, then "learn" the path over time. Ideally, cross reference this data with other users who may be following the same path. The trick is to be able to differentiate variations on the same path instead of averaging them together. If there is strong data consistently doing something slightly different from similar strong consistent data, then that should be recognized as two different paths. Any consistent deviation of more than 5 feet should be worth considering as a possible variation. Less than 5 feet is not useful. Normalize. Enhance the "learned" paths whenever the GPS signal is stronger than normal. When data is consistently sketchy on portions of this repeated path, smooth/average out the portion so that sideways movement is attenuated, relative to speed and --(if I'm moving at 15 mph, it's safe to assume that zigs and zags less than 5 feet in width and 8 feet length should be smoothed out into a straight line).

    4) Let the user choose a "pure gps" mode in settings so data is not normalized, smoothed, or interpolated. This could be a global setting or vary depending on activity type. Even better: let the user toggle this on or off DURING and AFTER the fact. As a basic setting, let the user decide whether to default to pure or interpolated. During a trip, display a notice "gps questionable: pure mode" or "gps questionable: interpolated mode". The user can tap on this notice to toggle the mode as desired. After the trip, wherever the gps data was sketchy, render it as a red dotted line (interpolated or pure depending on mode used while recording), on the map. Let the user tap on each red line segment and select to switch it to "interpolated" or "pure".


    PS: captcha: "what color is the sun?" I entered white. Robot said i was wrong. The sun is definitely white. Almost by definition.

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