BewARe: Developing an innovative AR-based physical training programme for the elderly
October 12, 2018, ART+COM Studios
BewARe is a research project focussed on enhancing physical training for senior hypertonia patients with the help of Augmented Reality. In collaboration with project partners, ART+COM Studios is developing a prototype application that uses sensor and Augmented Reality technology to create a movement and mobility training programme with gamification aspects for seniors suffering from high blood pressure. The project is motivated by the fact that hypertonia, like all chronic diseases, is impacted positively by regular physical activity. In Germany, more than 85% of 70-year-olds suffer from hypertonia and should therefore be encouraged to engage in regular endurance training.
The test application is planned as a multi-user system. Tailored physical exercises will be presented to seniors through AR goggles and the technology will then give feedback on training results to patients and their physicians. Auditive, visual and tactile feedback and gamification elements will motivate the patients to train correctly and regularly, thus supporting the training programme’s sustainable effect. The technology will enable them to train whenever and wherever they want, and the AR and sensor-based setup will help to monitor the patients’ performance in order to adjust their training if needed.
ART+COM’s contribution to the joint endeavour is the development of a collaborative AR system and the creation of an intuitive interaction design with gamification elements. Although manufacturers of available AR systems such as Microsoft’s HoloLens provide physiotherapy programs supported by sensor technology, these don’t yet give relevant feedback when exercises are executed inaccurately. This makes them less suitable for a training programme for unsupervised hypertonia patients. A particular challenge therefore will be the design of such a system for mostly inexperienced and perceptually limited users. To address this, elderly users will be involved from the earliest stages of the research and design process .
BewARe is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the program “Interaktive Systeme in virtuellen und realen Räumen – Innovative Technologien für ein gesundes Leben” (Interactive systems in virtual and real spaces – innovative technologies for a healthy life). Our main research partners in this project are Ascora GmbH, Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin, and the Geriatric Research Group, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
See https://www.technik-zum-menschen-bringen.de/projekte/beware for more details.