Group Size:4 people
Tools:Pencil And Paper
Google Survey Forms / Analytics
Our product, Life As a Gym (LG), is an innovative method to encourage University students to add more exercise to their already-filled lives. LG glasses are enhanced with augmented reality(AR) that scans a user’s environment for ad-hoc exercise opportunities, such as stairs to climb, places to jog, etc. As this was our first experience with designing for a new medium such as AR, we had to think outside of the box when conducting our diary studies, usability tests, and other demos.More information about each phase of our project can be found here
Our motivation for creating LG is a combination of several different factors. Prior to deciding to go with Life as a Gym glasses as our concept, we conducted background research in various topics; one of the statistics we found was approximately 40-50% of all college students do not get the recommended amount of physical activity, that is, they do not do enough physical activity in a given day to constitute exercise from a medical perspective. This statistic was a driving force throughout our project and stuck with us as one of our key motivations throughout the course. This statistic was found out after we completed the majority of the coursework, but we found it was a good justification that helped validate our design and concept.
To develop our initial design concept into a prototype-worthy state, we formed and executed a research plan, broken down by methodologies and the respective questions needed to be answered:
On top of explaining our research questions, we discovered 3 key patterns that needed to be addressed.
In sum, LG uses intelligent computer vision, machine learning and AR technology to recommend moments of exercise and alternative paths that the student can take. The exercises that LG recommends can be seen in the world as 3D objects that guide the user on how to complete those exercises.
Although the concept covered the basic interactions of our concept, it came short to covering the ubiquitous factors. We had envisioned our product to follow a similar form factor as any other pair of bifocal glasses, with the added benefit of our AR technology. Since we used a Samsung Gear and A-Frame, our form factor deterred us from fully immersing our user in the AR experience. The primary fault of that is because there is a slight visual delay between what the user sees and reality. Additionally, the angular view from the Gear causes distortion which makes it difficult but not impossible to navigate freely.
Gear: Blessing and A Curse
Additionally, the Gear VR became an issue for a few reasons. The main reason is that the web browser is run within the Gear VR virtual environment, and that environment roots the browser in place. Thus, if you move too much, you can't see the browser window any longer. Secondly, we only had one phone compatible with the Gear VR, and that phone was old enough that it didn't work well when asked to run both Gear VR and the AR browser. For that reason, we will use the Gear VR only to show in-person demo attendees what the UI might feel like but will use just a phone for actual demo. We'll stream a live view from our app user to the demo area, to show what a use case for the app looks like from a first-person perspective.
Furthermore, although in our early testing we had discovered that a lot of our participants interacted with our prototype using their voice, we were not able to implement voice interactivity into this demo. The limitations of this were primarily with our hardware and software used. This is why we employed a wizard-of-oz approach and had the screens cycle as our user completed objectives.
Short Of A Miracle
Also, our ambition to scan the environment and provide context suggestions and new exercise opportunities weren’t achieved. This was difficult to achieve with the current technology. The computer vision and machine learning requirement with high scalability don’t exist right now. In the future, when this technology becomes readily available, this feature could become extremely useful and be easily applied.