Week 3 —Narrow down the type of fitness

Week three of our IxD project on remote collaboration

High-level insights from research

We also did wide-ranging secondary research into the space. High level insights include:

  • Group exercise promotes motivation to complete workouts; remote exercise is less socially engaging
  • Correcting form is more difficult over remote because students cannot be observed in three dimensional space
  • Verbal feedback is less helpful when newcomers become frustrated; demonstrating and showing are more effective
  • Overcoming a lack of body awareness is more challenging over remote
  • Adjustments focused on the hips are especially impactful in yoga; some studios have begun using a second instructor to “spotlight” or demonstrate poses
  • Vibration-based haptics are ambiguous and do not provide directional feedback
  • Multimodal interactions must be simple and easy to understand
  • Physical activities can be augmented with physical feedback mechanisms

Some examples we gathered

YOGAR: a yoga app for HoloLens. It provides a 3D learning experience through Mixed Reality(MR). Learners are able to see marks in space, and hear audio instructions guiding them through each pose.

Image via Product Hunt

Enflux Exercise Clothing: a compression shirt and pants with small embedded motion sensors to collect data and analyzes people’s 3D movement in real-time.

Image via Kickstarter

BlazePose: provides real-time human pose tracking by employing machine learning (ML) to infer 2D landmarks of a body from a single frame.

Image via Google AI Blog

Nadi X: smart yoga pants integrated sensors and haptic feedback(vibration) helps you improve the yoga.

Image via Wearable X

YogiFi: smart yoga mat with pressure sensors provide instant feedback on postures.

At our meeting, we talked about keeping the materials low cost (like wearable bands or posture correctors rather than a full VR headset), and brainstormed ways of providing individualized feedback. Could trainers project objects or zones for trainees to interact with? We thought it might be best for flexibility to have a single device or set of devices that a wearer could move and adjust for haptic feedback. From a user journey perspective, we considered how “unboxing” a kit and receiving accessories for your workout could contribute to the motivation to use them.

Peer Reviews

We had a peer-review where our classmates suggested we might be able to automate tracking the movements of class-goers from the instructor side, since they would not be able to consistently and constantly monitor a full class. This would allow tracking not just of form but of some statistics and gamified elements. We talked about how LEDs, sound, or other modes of feedback could complement haptic input, and whether gestures might be more natural for a trainer than tapping on a screen. The most functional forms of giving and receiving feedback also seemed dependent on the speed of the exercise. There were questions about liability, but because many in-person studios required waivers to work out, we would assume that many of the same aspects would be covered in remote workouts. Our aim for form-focused adjustments would certainly include helping students avoid hurting themselves.

We then spoke with our professors, who suggested we continue working on the specificity of the modalities for interaction, as well as what the interactions look like from the instructor side vs. the trainee side. What would be the information most important for instructors to communicate, how long would it last, and how would it be individualized in a group setting? They echoed our peers’ suggestion that some augmentation would be helpful to both trainee and trainer. Additionally, it might be helpful to have two trainers: one to demonstrate postures while the other reviewed the video streams of the trainees. Yoga seemed like a great form of exercise to focus on — it was relatively slow-paced and focused on form, and honing in on a single form of exercise would allow us to consider what placement of a haptic feedback device would make the most sense. We continued to refine our storyboards and journey map for mid-crit.

Storyboards and journey map

Instructor’s journey

Student’s journey

Mid-project presentation

During mid-crit presentations, feedback was collected in a google doc, which meant we were able to go through and highlight the actionable feedback we wanted to incorporate, as well as areas we needed to clarify to convey our ideas to our classmates.

We used Miro to organize feedback we received from Q, Dina and classmates, affinity mapped them.

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