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Wearable Fitness Sensor for VR on Stationary Bikes

Discussion in 'AR/VR (XR) Discussion' started by guru20, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. guru20

    guru20

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    I wanted to share a project I have been working on for the past few months, and now have a working prototype. It's called "Veloporter" and it clips onto your sock or shoe to wirelessly transmit pedaling data into VR apps (or any app, really) so that you can ride your bike in VR! [There are a few systems that have aimed to this... most notably VirZoom and Widerun ... but they are bigger, bulkier, more expensive, and not designed for mobile. They're not the type of thing you could throw in a bag and take to the gym, like you could with my device and a GearVR or Cardboard headset.]



    I do not yet have the funding to mass produce it, but wanted to share the idea since it might be a relevant development opportunity for Unity enthusiasts. I have also developed a game to play with it, MoonCyclist, in which you ride through procedurally-generated courses on the moon:

    Video:


    Website: www.veloporter.net

    Cheers, and Happy Holidays!
     
  2. castana1962

    castana1962

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    Great Idea !
    Good Luck guru20 !
    Happy Holidays to you too !
     
  3. blazespinnaker

    blazespinnaker

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    It is a good idea, and not to be a huge downer, but I did the same thing by just using the accelerometer in the HMD. This actually works surprisingly well for cycling.
     
  4. guru20

    guru20

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    Not a downer at all... the sensor is actually not complex, it is a rather simple idea (which is why I was kind of shocked that it didn't seem to exist yet)

    I am curious, though, what you mean by "I used the accelerometer in the HMD"

    You attached it to your foot?
     
  5. blazespinnaker

    blazespinnaker

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    Well I guess it depends on the cycle you use. The one I use, my head bobs up and down enough that I can use the HMD. I started out by just putting my smartphone in my pocket, but realized that the HMD was good enough.
     
  6. guru20

    guru20

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    Interesting.

    Yeah, I don't think that is a surefire way to work. Maybe it has more to do with your cycling style than anything else?

    I'm not a professional cyclist, but I think in "proper" form your head isn't supposed to move very much at all. (I do use the HMD for steering, however... a tilt/lean based steering system)
     
  7. guru20

    guru20

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    I did find this related to head-bobbing while cycling (this is from a professional cycling/racing website of terminology and slang used by cyclists):

    "Head bobbing. Often a symptom of riders who are suffering in a race. They generally bob their heads and bodies to get power into their pedals from every part of their body apart from their legs. It is not very effective."
     
  8. blazespinnaker

    blazespinnaker

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    Your head bobs enough (if not up and down, but also side to side as your body weight shifts) to detect. Agreed, it's not supposed to go up and down, but nobody is rock steady. Anyways, everyone has a smartphone these days (or at least enough). Just toss it in your pants pocket if you can't get the HMD to work
     
  9. guru20

    guru20

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    That's the thing: as a cyclist, the goal is to essentially have only your legs moving... not any other part of your body. Even if other parts of your body move (obviously it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to steady your body completely), it's not a predictable motion, so it's nothing you can use to calculate why or when the movement is happening. In VR, your head should be allowed to move... being able to look around a bit is part of the enjoyment of VR.

    Where you are right is this: technically, you could create a controller by strapping your mobile phone to your foot or lower leg and using its accelerometer. (because the only part of the body that moves in a reliable, predictable motion during cycling is your leg -- specifically, the lower leg, from knee down to foot)

    In fact, that's essentially what the Veloporter is... except it's a lot cheaper, easier to wear, and less risk of breaking than a mobile phone. Also, it is designed to work with your mobile phone being used as the VR delivery system (ie. Cardboard or GearVR), because otherwise you need to have a big, expensive desktop PC or game console sitting right next to a stationary bike machine, and/or be tethered to it with a wire [allowing people to use their phone as the VR system via a $20 plastic headset or $99 Samsung GearVR makes the system far cheaper and more accessible (than, say, Oculus or Vive or Morpheus), allows people to take their VR experience with them to the gym, and avoids the complications of being tethered via a wire.]

    So, in this case, most people won't just have a "phone handy", because the phone is being used as the HMD -- they would have to have a second phone on hand for it to even be a possibility. In that case, you're right, one phone could be programmed to be a controller for the VR headset phone, and then you could strap it to your leg. But that's a rather pricey and inconvenient setup that applies to a very limited audience (most people only have one phone, and nobody in their right mind would buy an extra mobile phone just to use it as a controller.)

    As for head-triggered accelerometer events... it does give me an idea for an innovative VR exercise experience you could do without use of an additional sensor (not for bike... and not for treadmill, although it should technically work, but would be way too dangerous...)
     
  10. blazespinnaker

    blazespinnaker

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    It really is pretty accurate. But, you know, go ahead and do your thing.
     
  11. jolykay

    jolykay

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    Wow! This is a brilliant idea and I'm very sure many people will love it. Why not try partnering with exercise equipment company like this www.bestusedgymequipment.com It will really help you a lot.
     
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