by Meg Floyd
We’ve all been there. An amazing tournament or high-profile event is happening on a particular weekend, and for whatever reason–lack of money, lack of vacation time, or natural disasters–you’re stuck at home while your clubmates and friends are out competing. Anyone who’s ever been at a tournament knows how easy it is to get swept away in the competition, freeplay, and workshops, making it difficult to send updates home. So while your clubmates are out there, engrossed in the experience, everyone else is left at home checking their phones and Facebooks for any updates as to how things are going. The main efforts to this have been the livestreams that many events have put on, including Swordfish, Iron Gate Exhibition, Longpoint, and Fechtschule America, and haphazard online updates by yours truly. However, livestreams only include the finals, I am only one person, and people are often left wondering how their friends did if they did not make it to finals.
However, as of today, HEMA lives in a new and different world. Kasper Aase and the Swordfish team have blown the standard for up-to-date tournament information out of the water. In just a week, the Swordfish team will be releasing a mobile app called Swordfish 2013, made by Purple Scout. The app will include many features useful to both attendees and those following at home, but the most earth-shattering feature is this: users will be able to follow up-to-date, real-time progress of their favorite fighters through the pool fights. This is possible because of cooperation between the app and live updates from the HEMA Tournament Mananger, the online scoring program designed by Youval Kuipers and Maarten Kamphuis (of Pro-Gauntlet fame).
Kasper Aase, a mobile app developer by trade and GHFS student who orchestrated the production of the app, said that the app will, “…have pictograms, and it shows whether the fight is waiting, has started or ended (and who won).”
Other features of the app will include useability for both attendees and those following at home. They are:
– Live updates from HEMA Tournament Manager so you will be able to track your favorite fighters’ progress to the finals.
– Workshop details with schedules/prerequisites.
– Maps of Aktiviteten and the local area, with the ability to call reception, taxi, and local hotels.
– The ability to make a list of favorite workshops, providing a customized schedule for attendees.
When I asked if there was any chance Aase’s company might make the app available to other HEMA events, he said, “It will be quite easy to make a new design and sell it to all other HEMA-events. It has an interface with HTM as well… Now that the major work is done, a re-design will probably take two weeks or less, and then a week for iTunes and Googleplay.”
I look forward to seeing the app in action. Stay tuned, as release is scheduled within the next week. Asked why he wanted to create the app, Aase said, “I hope we take Swordfish to the next level. All over.” I think they will accomplish just that.