A cooperative walking game using Nudgeables

I’ve used the Nudgeables to create an eyes free game, worn as an armband, to encourage office workers and couch potatoes to take a break from sitting and do a little walking. It’s a two player game played in turns. It can be played anywhere because it’s a silent game so no one around you knows you’re playing. It uses simple and intuitive interactions to operate, no interaction is necessary to operate beyond walking around.

 

When it is your turn you are required to walk a number of steps to pass the turn to the other player. This then prompts the other player to walk in a call and respond fashion through a long vibration notification in the armband. To encourage fast completion of the turns (and walking exercise) the armband softly vibrates once every 2 secs. This annoyance (and guilt of still being it) quickly builds up; you’ll want to end your turn fast to get a break!

 

The input of the system is a pedometer created with a 3-axis accelerometer. A Lilypad Arduino acts as the brain of the system. It counts the steps taken and tells the Nudgeable when to activate. It also reads the notification signal from the Nudgeable to determine when the player’s turn has begun.

My original thought was to place it on the ankle but I repositioned it after reading the design for wearability text. This area is too mobile and flexible. Instead, I located it on the upper arm to minimize perception of size as well as impact from movement. Furthermore, I used stretchy fabric for construction of the housing to account for movement. This also allowed the form to taper and shape to the body and, with the inclusion of an adjustable strap, fit many body sizes and types.

 

In the largest part of the housing I used a highly breathable fabric to limit heat buildup and to keep the wearer comfortable. I attempted to make the housing as durable as possible by using strong, stretchy fabrics in every area but had to include felt fabric as backing in this iteration. In the future I would ideally use leather.

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