iGYM is an inclusive exergame system that uses projected augmented reality to create a room-sized, interactive game environment. It gives players with mobility disabilities and those without the opportunity to play head-to-head in a traditional, physical sport setting.
Created by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan led by Roland Graf, the iGYM system is designed to be used in large spaces with high ceilings, such as school gymnasiums. It projects a simple playfield onto the floor. The field consists of a divided rectangle with a goal at each end and a projected disc that bounces around inside it.
When a player enters the space, the system projects a circle on the floor around them, creating a visualization of their peripersonal space. This peripersonal circle acts somewhat like the paddle in an air hockey game, deflecting the disc whenever it collides with the circle. Players also can expand their peripersonal circle to strike the disc, trying to shoot it past their opponent and into the goal. The system allows players to expand their circle by spreading their arms, kicking, or, in the case of players who use wheelchairs, pressing a “kick button” — made from a modified Bluetooth mouse.
Graf and his team tested the system with a group of players ages 9–16, including power wheelchair users, manual wheelchair users, and players who didn’t use wheelchairs. The team found that, while several factors influenced the way players approached the game, the peripersonal circle and kick button helped make the game accessible, playable and balanced, regardless of players’ level of mobility.
Additional information: igym.solutions
Contact author: Roland Graf
CHI PLAY session:
Wednesday, 23 October 2019, 11:00–13:30
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