The first precedent is a subway station in Moscow that allows passengers to pay for the ride in squats (1). It started during the Sochi Olympic games as a way to bring sports to more people. To get a free ticket, a passenger has to complete 30 squats in two minutes in front of the ticket machine, which counts the squats for the passenger. In videos of crowds using this device, the exercise brought smiles to the passengers doing the exercise and also to onlookers. Friends challenged each other to do the squats and some passengers upped the ante by doing one-legged squats or more squats in less time (2). Generally, the interaction was met with enthusiasm by users and onlookers who seemed to enjoy the novelty and silliness of the interaction. Not only did the device encourage passengers to take a quick break with exercise, but it also created a fun scenario with smiles and laughter that encouraged interactions with others in the community. Our team will build off of this precedent by also making a small station for exercising in place that is located in a public area to create a funny moment for the participants and onlookers. The sensing method will be different to accommodate the technology available in class, and we will connect matching devices through the Particle cloud in order to encourage competition between different parts of the undergraduate community.
The second precedent is the Underarmour online fitness tracker app (3). Many technologies exist that allow users to connect and compete with friends through an app. The apps collect and share fitness data between friend groups and can motivate users to keep active for some time, but the novelty of the experience quickly wears off. The app cannot display data in physical space because it is only displayed on phone screens. This precedent shows one way of displaying fitness data and competitions that can motivate people to exercise more but does not have a direct physical link to the activity. The app can send push notifications to remind someone to exercise, but that is the limit to the interaction. The team would like to build off of this idea of sharing fitness data between people through an internet connection while building this connection through a physical game space and physical display. A physical display of information will act as the attention-grabbing motivation for passerbyers to stop and play the game. It will add an element of entertainment to the interaction to keep players and their friends interested.
The third precedent is an arcade game called Jumping Jackpot which is an arcade game where players try to match their jumps to flashing lights in order to win points. The game is not a connected device, but it is an example of how arcade games draw the attention of players and encourage them to complete a task. We will build off of the style of the game but change it to fit the environment of a dorm. Our device must be interesting enough to draw the attention of students looking for something to do while also not irritation people who do not want to play the game. This balance will be important to the user interaction and if they accept or decline the invitation to play the game.
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