CPSC581: Tina Huynh

ARDUINO

THE < MOVE > BAND



For those who need a little push at the gym, The < MOVE > Band aims to help motivate those during a workout to keep going through the use of rewards and punishments with audio. Rather than a simple phone app that just plays an audio file to follow along, this wearable accessory is more personal as it takes into account your physical body by measuring heart rate to push you further.
















DOWNLOAD

Click here to be directed to the downloads page for source code and executable.
















OVERVIEW

The Task: Create an "interactive wearable accessory" that enhances the experience of its wearer.


The User: Designed for users working out at the gym who need a little more motivation to continue pushing themselves, especially those who like to listen to music to make exercising a little more easy and bearable. The < Move > Band strives to help those who have a tendency of giving up during their runs and invoke motivation and inspiration.


Video Demo:


















DESIGN JUSTIFICATION

The Design: The < Move > Band is the pairing of a workout headband with workout gloves to assist during one’s exercise. This fits the design brief as it is considered a wearable accessory because it is "an item that can be worn" (Dictionary.com) and “a thing that can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive.” (Dictionary.com) It is an extra item that the user can wear and is completely optional. In this case, the accessory has the use of motivation. It is also interactive as it allows "a two-way flow of information between a computer and a computer-user; responding to a user's input." (Dictionary.com) In this case, the accessory reads the user input in the form of their pulse by reading it through their finger with a sensor and outputs corresponding lights/sounds.

Having the move band be a headband and workout gloves was decided because they were common things seen by wearers at gyms. Also, the headband is perfect for playing music because it is close the user’s ears and workout gloves would be a great way of having the device be hidden while still being close to an area of the body where a pulse can be read, in this case the finger. Looking at the back of your hand for heart pulse monitoring is also highly accessible.

IDEATION

For the process of ideation, I started off with listing as many different types of accessories I could think of. From these accessories, I started thinking of the ways we interact with them on our body and with this I came up with some different functionalities ranging from totally cool, totally easy, to totally impossible to do within the given timeframe.



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With these ideas, I really focused on feelings and emotions I wanted the accessory to help either feel or relieve. This ranged from feeling happy, warm, less nervous, and relaxed.
2 / 4
The GPS glove, timer glasses, and fitness anklet focused on daily routine and useful functionality for everyday use. The socks, mood bow, and game fanny pack continued to deal with feeling, expressing personality, and just having fun.
3 / 4
The earmuffs, video game glove, and mood bow were my favourite ideas.
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I also came up with another idea for a scarf that changed based on how much air you blew on it or the warmth of your breath.



REFINEMENT


From my favourite concepts, I went into some more detail and refined certain details.



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Beat-Muffs: Designed to keep people warm while also helping make waiting for transit (or simply just walking) more fun through music. Earmuffs would play music that is determined by your footsteps. Faster walking equals faster music, same with slower. Different variations include steps playing different notes or a song is played that matches the “beat” of your steps.
2 / 5
Fidget Glove: Designed for people waiting in the cold who are bored and like to play games to pass by time. No need to hold a phone or get touch-screen gloves, just control the game screen on your glove with finger gestures.
3 / 5
Some more variation and different ideas regarding the Fidget Glove
4 / 5
Mood Wand: Designed for people who have a hard time expressing their feelings or are simply too shy. The color of the brooch changes depending on how you are feeling. Mood is input with a wand where you draw an emoji that represents a feeling and the color changes. Project was decided to be too big for the time given.
5 / 5
Smart Glasses: Designed for people who get nervous or anxious for presentations or public speaking. These glasses overlay images on your audience so you can picture them in a scene that calms your nerves. Rather than picturing the audience in their underwear, you can literally see it!



SECOND REFINEMENT


When deciding which idea I should implement and after receiving feedback, I decided to evolve my music playing ear-muffs idea. The Mood Wand and Smart Glasses were too big to carry out in just a week and the Fidget Glove was something that didn’t stand out enough for me. So, I decided to alter my Beat Muffs into something more interactive and find a different goal: fitness. Focusing in on a more specific case made it easier to design something and find a more narrow scope of users. Not only did I want the user to interact with the accessory, I wanted the accessory to interact with the user.

I decided to focus in on the feelings that I experience in regards to fitness. That being, my dread for cardio. The hardest part of any workout for me was running, biking, going on the elliptical, etc. I always found it so difficult to push myself after five minutes. I always felt like “I did five minutes, that’s good enough. Better than nothing.” Nothing really pushed me to keep going.

It also wasn’t until Spotify that I got a little better at running because they have different playlists for different occasions, one of them being “CARDIO”. All the songs were fast paced and energetic and it helped me to go from five minutes to ten minutes. So, I felt like music was a big part in pushing me further. But, was there anything I could make to push me even further and make me beat my record? What would help make me even more inclined to keep going?

This was where I came up with my goal and motivation that I wanted my accessory to achieve.


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Different fitness accessories with different functionalities to help motivate the user.
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The first idea was to have the headband be one of the accessories that is paired with socks. The headband would play the music and the socks would calculate your speed by taking into account steps and time. The user could also have a water bottle (because most people exercising carry one around) with a slip that has LEDs that pulse to the speed of your steps.
3 / 5
The possible necessary components and different potential audio choices.
4 / 5
I believe one of the best ways to motivate someone is with rewards and punishments. I really wanted to focus on a sort of audio aspect.
5 / 5
I even thought of different games that could be connected to someone’s speed or heart rate. This would have to be linked to a phone application. This is something I would love to do in the future.



STORYBOARDING

I found storyboarding to be quite helpful in laying out how my wearable accessory will be used and why a user would want to use it. It also lays out how it works (without going into the hardware details) and the experience a person will go through.


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There are two different motivations and functionalities being shown in this storyboard. Follow the purple arrows for one path and the blue paths for the other!
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This scenario highlights the user who has no motivation when they work out and has no drive to push themselves. The introduction of the accessory offers a way to punish the user if they end up slacking during their workout so that they have more incentive to keep pushing themselves.



CHANGES

I then thought about how I would actually implement this and what was actually do-able in the timeframe I had. I then just realized, “Oh! I can detect someone’s heartbeat.” One’s pulse is quite an accurate reading at how fast someone is running/working. Perhaps even more accurate than speed, because there is no set universal speed that everyone reaches and starts sweating. However with heart rate, it is more personal and there are universal guidelines like “If your heart-rate is within so and so, you are training for endurance.”

So, I decided to go with the heart rate detection as a means of calculating effort.


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Changes include: have the LEDs and sensor be on a workout glove instead because it is easier to connect closer to an area with a pulse (in this case, the finger); LEDs would pulse to heart-beat; make the experience more game-like, with motivational messages played at certain checkpoints or if you’re slacking, some tough love.



IMPLEMENTATION


The < Move > Band was developed using an Arduino Mega and C#. Main components include the Grove Ear Clip Heart Rate Sensor and multiple LEDs. Features include: LEDs that blink to your pulse and light up one by one depending on your progress, motivational messages as you keep going and also messages to prevent slacking, rewarding music and punishment "music".





This headband accessory is worn by the user and has speakers attached to it where the music and messages are played.





This glove is worn by the user and has the heart rate sensor attached. The user will place this on whichever finger is most comfortable for them. The glove also contains the LEDs for display.





This GIF showcases the LED progress circle located on the glove. For every LED that lights up is an indication of the user keeping their heart rate up for a certain amount of time. After completing a round, the LEDs will start again from the beginning. LEDs can also decrement (progress can go back) if the user starts to slow down. Lights are turned off for the sake of seeing the LEDs clearly.



FINAL COMMENTS


For the future, I'd love to implement phone application games that can be paired up with the accessories. See Second Refinement Sketch 5/5 for game ideas. I'd also like to do more with the LEDs, such as fun patterns or effects. I'd also like there to be buttons on the gloves where the user can browse and choose their song of choice. If I had the resources, I'd also have the speaker in the headband play the sounds wirelessly with BlueTooth.