Jogging over a Distance
Florian 'Floyd' Mueller
Living far away from friends and work
colleagues reduces opportunities for informal interaction and shared
experience, such as those experienced when going jogging together.
Jogging over a Distance is a prototype that employes spatialised audio
to allow you to converse with a remote jogging partner while
maintaining an awareness of your relative levels of exertion.
Social joggers often run with others as a means to socialise as well
as to gain extra motivation to exercise. We discovered that many
social joggers value the ability to have conversations with their
partners and use their exercise sessions as a way to stay in touch
with their friends. For casual joggers, being able to carry on a
conversation can also be an indicator that they are running at a
suitable pace: not too fast and not too slow for an optimal health
benefit. This is often referred to as the "Talk Test".
To help in finding social jogging partners, one solution is to
enable people to jog with remote friends and other remote joggers.
With Jogging over a Distance, jogging partners could live in opposite
parts of the world, yet share the experience of jogging together.
Similar to jogging side by side, the Jogging over a Distance
prototype transforms the conversation into spatialised audio to
simulate hearing one's partner in front, to the side, or behind. Each
jogging partner puts on a pair of headphones and wears the remaining
equipment in a small waistpack.
While our previous work focussed on pace awareness, the current
prototype supports awareness of exertion intensity: if your heart rate
is faster, your partner's voice sounds like it is coming from behind
you; if your heart rate is slower, your partner's voice appears to
come from in front of you. Heart rate data is collected wireless from
a chest belt.
Similar to a collocated setting, the spatialised audio cues runners
when to speed up or slow down in order to "stay" with their partner.
By accounting for each partner's maximum heart rate and optimal
training zone, distant runners can run together although they have
different physical capabilities. In other words, a fit runner can run
with an unfit one, but they can both still "push" one another to their
preferred exercise level. Thus, the system allows joggers to do
something that is not possible when running side by side - to
challenge their capabilities while running with friends who run at
We would like to thank Shannon O'Brien and
Alex Thorogood who worked on prior versions and evaluations on the
topic of remote jogging with the Floyd. We also thank the University
of Melbourne and the CSIRO ICT Centre; and Andrea Taylor and Elena
Corchero for the pictures.
Jogging over a Distance received a special
mention at the 1st
international NOKIA Ubimedia MindTrek Awards, 5 October 2007.
High resolution project images
Visit Floyd's Exertion
Interfaces website for video and additional project