Taiwoo Park, Inseok Hwang, Uichin Lee, Sunghoon Ivan Lee, Chungkuk Yoo, Youngki Lee, Hyukjae Jang, Sungwon Peter Choe, Souneil Park and Junehwa Song
We envision that diverse social exercising games, or exergames, will emerge, featuring much richer interactivity with immersive game play experiences. Further, the recent advances of mobile devices and wireless networking will make such social engagement more pervasive—people carry portable exergame devices (e.g., jump ropes) and interact with remote users anytime, anywhere. Towards this goal, we explore the potential of using heterogeneous exercise devices as game controllers for a multi-player social exergame; e.g., playing a boat paddling game with two remote exercisers (one with a jump rope, and the other with a treadmill). In this paper, we propose a novel platform called ExerLink that converts exercise intensity to game inputs and intelligently balances intensity/delay variations for fair game play experiences. We report the design considerations and guidelines obtained from the design and development processes of game controllers. We validate the eﬃcacy of game controllers and demonstrate the feasibility of social exergames with heterogeneous exercise devices via extensive human subject studies.
A link to the full paper: http://nclab.kaist.ac.kr/papers/Conference/park12mobisys.pdf
Public Review uploaded by lzhong:
This public review was prepared by Mirjana Spasojevic.
How can we use collaborative games to encourage more physical exercises?
This paper offers an answer in the form of a system where users (possibly
remote) perform aerobic exercises such as running, cycling, rope jumping and
hula hooping to cooperate and compete. The system incorporates special
game controllers built from regular physical exercise equipment such as jump
ropes, treadmills, stationary bikes and hoops. These pieces of equipment are
augmented to measure physical activity and to provide input into the gaming
system. People of vastly different physical abilities and fitness levels can
compete in a fair fashion, since the system is calibrated according to their
abilities prior to the game.
Anyone who has tried to stick to the regular physical exercise program, like
an aerobic activity carried out 3-5 days a week, can attest about the
inevitable boredom that occurs with such a routine, no matter the initial
motivating factor and the fitness level. Thus exploring this space to create
new systems that make motivation easier and the exercise more fun should
always be encouraged. Social component is often the crucial element and this
system demonstrates how to incorporate standard equipment and how to include
just about everyone who can at least cycle on a stationary bike.
This system has been put thorough detailed lab testing and the results
should convince the reader that it works with a reasonable level of
precision and that it gets the users into the game-playing mode with extra
benefits of a social experience. However, what remains to be seen is if a
system like this one can survive longitudinal studies in the wild: being a
part of the standard gym equipment, being taken on the road and being able
to attract repeat users. Groups of people have been playing sports like
volleyball or tennis casually for a long time. Would a system like this one
be attractive to use as well?