Aside from his daytime job as an IT consultant, 2012 University of Indianapolis Alum Andrew Armour has spent the last few years creating a free fitness app called Activate Fitness. Activate Fitness officially released on July 9 and is available on iOS and Android. The app regulates screen time based on daily activity levels and encourages kids, as well as families to stay active and be rewarded with screen time.
“It’s an app that allows children to attain their own screen time based on reaching physical activity goals that are set by parents,” Armour said. “The main focus of the app itself is that parent/child relationship, but it doesn’t just force that parent and child relationship, my wife and I use it too.”
Armour said that the app can be used for any individual who thinks they spend too much time on their device. If they want to control that a little bit more and push themselves to be more active, people can install the software on their device and be able to use it whenever they want, according to Armour.
The idea for the app came about after Armour was hanging out with his older brother and his three kids. Armour said he went over to their house one day and his nieces and nephews were inside on their phones when it was a beautiful day when they could have been outside.
“It [the idea] didn’t stick with me right then,” Armour said. “It was something later that night at like two or three in the morning that I thought or before I was trying to go to bed or attempting to sleep that I came up with. Then I woke up and I couldn’t go back to sleep. It was something that I had to research a little more…”
Six years out of college, Armour said he has been sitting back brainstorming about things to pursue and the idea of this fitness app was the first one that impacted him and his family. When he came up with it, he thought it was something that could not only help his family, but also impact the lives of children who are using devices and get them away from the screen.
“I’ve always been this person who has always tried to think of the next great thing,” Armour said. “I think it was a long track record of me coming up with OK ideas, but nothing that I was really going to put my time, effort and especially my money into because I didn’t know how the outcome was going to be for me financially.”
Armour said that during this process, his older brother AJ Armour has been one of his biggest supporters. According to AJ, Andrew’s always had an entrepreneurial spirit. AJ said that he is 13 years older than Andrew, so he could relate to some of the technology issues with kids and saw the problem first hand and got excited about the idea when Andrew came up with it.
“He was always bouncing ideas off of me for services and potential technologies that could enhance/improve something,” AJ said. “I help him mentally work through his marketing approach, capabilities of the application and we kick around how to get more people that can help influence a target audience of young parents that are fed up with the overhead of managing screen time. I’m really just a sounding board and someone that is looking out for him and trying to help steer when I can and provide objective feedback when needed. He’s the owner, it’s all his vision and his money that he’s put into the company and app. I just want to see him succeed.”
AJ said that before the app, he was constantly managing his kids’ screen time and requests for more time.
“We’ve used other screen time management tools in the past and they have nothing like his app. It’s nice because it helps strike a balance between screen time and fitness,” AJ said. “It also gives the kid the power to control the time they get on screens by performing physical fitness tasks, so that is nice because they feel more in control and it reduces the power struggle that was always in play before when they would run out of time on their phone and then come asking me for more. Now they can just go earn it.”
According to Armour, he spent around 6-8 months doing research and did his due diligence on his side for the app to make sure nobody else was working on this idea and offering a similar service. In September 2016, he filed for a provisional patent, which was approved. Then he filed for a full utility patent in 2017 and then the app officially was approved in December of 2019. Armour said he spent a little over three years sitting back, worrying and waiting, but it was very nice that it went through because it protects him from all his competitors who offer a similar service.
According to Armour, there have been a handful of media outlets that have covered his story, including the Indianapolis Business Journal. Armour said that since the app launched in March, he has received good feedback. He did a launch with family and friends on social media and has had amazing feedback from his community and a lot of cool people who were interested in it and is hoping to continue raising awareness about it.