Sports and fitness are being transformed by digital innovations, such as the ability to sense and track a wide variety of metrics. The iPlay project aims to take this trend to the next level by developing an interactive sports platform composed of sensors that enable full-body, high-quality 3D body motion detection. This in-depth feedback will be used to generate more engaging fitness experiences and increase health rehabilitation outcomes.
Streamlining sports sensing and real-time feedback
From flexible, lightweight LED display solutions to sensor matrices and camera-based motion tracking, various developments lead to significant potential in the professional sports, fitness, gaming and health sectors. These technologies make it possible to gather large amounts of data on the user’s movement in real time and interact with mobile devices. In addition to targeted feedback, this also enables immersive experiences. However, current innovations only include limited visualization elements, awkward VR goggles and give almost no feedback. Moreover, most systems are extremely expensive.
Two highly-targeted use cases
iPlay will target two use cases: recreational sports and fitness on one hand, and rehabilitation in professional athletics on the other.
In the case of fitness, the project aims to apply the technology to generate gamified feedback for more personalized, interactive and engaging fitness practice. The main goals are to stimulate people to move more and better, thus addressing the problem of inactivity and offering qualitative workouts by focusing on monitoring and analyzing training exercises.
For the rehabilitation application, the project aims to monitor patients in realistic environments. The underlying goal is to improve the transition from rehabilitation, to training and finally to full performance – making it as quick and effective as possible.
Intuitive, low-latency and suitable for many applications
Planned outcomes for the project are varied and include the development of a sensor platform that:
- is modular, and suitable for use in- and outdoors;
- drives an interactive visualization canvas of 10m2 in size.
The system will be easy to install and configure. It will feature low-delay interaction with the user and an API that enables the system’s use with gaming engines. A minimum of 10 concepts will be developed illustrating the wide range of uses of this technology along with target demographics. Two of these will be developed into proofs of concept.
360 degrees of expertise
To develop iPlay technology for these two targeted use cases, the consortium will rely on a cross-domain collaboration between experts in LED visualization, dynamic plantar pressure measurement systems, game design, training and rehabilitation ICT, sensors and user research.
“iPlay technology will rely on LED visualization, sensing and gamification to enable comprehensive, 3D monitoring of athletes’ bodies in real time. iPlay will facilitate personalized and gamified fitness experiences and drive efficient and effective rehabilitation strategies for sports professionals after injuries.”
Interactive sports platform for comprehensive, 3D monitoring of athletes
iPlay is an imec.icon research project funded by imec and Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen.
It started on 01.04.2017 and is set to run until 30.03.2019.
- DAE Studios
- Recreational Systems Europe
- RS Scan International
- Howest - Digital Arts & Entertainment
- imec - IPI - UGent
- imec - MICT - UGent
- KU Leuven - FaBeR
- Project lead: Chris Colpaert
- Research lead: Jan Van Looy
- Innovation Manager: Steven Van Assche