Trampoline game interface for a fitter you
Nintendo certainly sparked off a gaming exercise craze with their Nintendo Wii when it rolled out several years ago. While it might seem to look like some sort of a novelty system to many people, the move eventually paid off, with Sony following up with their own version called PS Move, while Microsoft takes things one step further with the Kinect, where your entire body functions as the video game controller itself. Gaming for fitness has since seen programs begin in hospitals in order to rehabilitate stroke patients and the like.
Well, here is yet another potential game changer (pun not intended) with the trampoline game interface, which has nothing to do with Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo at all. Instead, this exercise support system will rely on one’s movement on the trampoline as a form of input in a virtual space. A research group at Tsukuba University is spearheading this project, where the latest version paves the way for a wider range of movements in the game world. Apart from forward, balancing, and jumping motions that were made available in the previous version, the newer version will allow you to input sideways and backward motions.
The research team describes it this way, “We’ve developed this system to make exercise less intimidating for people who aren’t used to it. Exercising on a trampoline has less impact on the legs and back than exercising on the floor, and it can be very effective. We thought that combining exercise on a trampoline with a virtual space might be a way to make exercise fun. And that’s how we’ve developed this system. The sensors detect the position of the user’s center of gravity, showing whether the person is leaning left or right. If the center of gravity moves continuously left then right, that’s detected as “walking forward,” and if the body weight is to the left for a certain time, that’s a “balancing motion.” If the trampoline surface is depressed, that’s detected as a “jump”.”
I know for sure I would be so out of breath after spending just five minutes on this. Best to hit the gym then and stop talking!