Jog Dealer is an interactive vest that aims to provide a playful and motivational running experience. Runners will be able to see his/her current running information through the interactive lighting system. The lighting system also allows the users to run at night safely; when the users encounter danger, the light and audio will trigger immediately so that the surrounding pedestrians will notice what is happening to the user. This ensures that runners can not only show off his/her data internally and externally but have a sense of security when jogging at night.
Jog Dealer provides a set of opportunities allowing the users to explore the functions while running. First and foremost, the calories burned light will enable runners to set a personal goal; this encourages and helps them track when the training or progress (tasks) is completed. Secondly, as our team discovered that jogglers fear running at night due to safety concerns, our team intends to tackle the issue by implementing the light and audio system. Jogglers will be more confident running in a dark environment without hesitation. Last but not least, to provide a joyful experience to the runners, we designed a real-time interactive system that allows jogglers to interact. This is similar to the hand pressing flashlight that the user will need to keep pressing the button to make the flashlight work. Depending on the speed of the runners, the faster the joggler runs, the swiftly the LED light loops. We believe this feature will allow runners to generate mental energy to finish the set goal or even motivate them to perform better than previously expected.
The main component of Jog Dealer is a sleeveless vest, the reason we chose the vest as the representation is, compared to other types of cloths such as hoodies and T-shirts, the sleeveless vest is easier for the user to put on and take off. Also, its weight is not so heavy that more fit for the exercise. The vest itself can be seen as a black box as it is embedded with variety of technologies. These technologies include Arduino UNO broad, vibration sensors, MPU-6050 sensor, Neo-Pixel strips as well as ultrasonic sensors. All the technologies are connected to the Arduino UNO with numerous cables and all the sensors are input methods of the Jog Dealer.
Technology 1: MPU-6050
MPU-6050 sensor takes charge of sensing the velocity of the runner so that corresponding light effects could be presented according to the variation of the associated value. There are two main light effects involved with this sensor: reversed progress bar which indicates the consumption of the calories and waving lights showing the frequency of the runner. For reversed progress bar, it displays the consuming of the energy, since we want it to motivate the users rather than making them feel that they have to finish some objective, we make the progress bar different from a normal one, which is from 100% to 0% instead of 0% to 100%. In this case, they could see intuitively how much energy they have expend.
Technology 2: Ultrasonic sensors
The main function of ultrasonic sensors is to detect the distance between the user and other people or other objects, if the distance smaller than the safe distance, it will trigger the vibration as well as led strips to inform the users of closing threat or dangerous. The vibration and lights will go on and off depends on whether it detects the “danger”.
Technology 3: Capacitive touch sensors
Capacitive touch sensors are used for turning lights. Two sensors on other side of the vest represents turning left or right. Runners only need to touch the button once to indicate the others of changing directions and the led strips will shine 7 times for turning.
While the Neo-Pixel strips are used to present the light effects. To deal with the spaghetti-like cables, we sewed the vest in smaller size inside the one in larger size, making it an interlayer, and put all the cables into the interval between two vests. Another purpose of doing this is to protect the cable in case of the short-circuit caused by damage to the cables and make the strips less dazzling.
Technology 4: Software Development
As for software, we used Arduino Uno to integrate all the functions of the prototype. Arduino can receive simple signals from touch sensors and ultrasonic sensors and use this as a trigger to transmit new signals to neopixel to light up the strips on the vest. MPU6050 is a little more complicated, because the data obtained from this sensor is acceleration, we need to convert it to speed. We use the formula to calculate the velocity. Time is obtained from the system using millis(). And then depending on the velocity, Arduino can transmit different signals to strips and lead to various light effects.
Our booth stands behind the main entrance, where the participants would immediately see us when they enter. We place the posters, brochures, and a short video introduction to appeal to participants. Also, we use a clothes rack and hanger to display our prototype and the internal structure.
Jog Dealer attracted significant attention from many visitors on the day of the exhibit, especially when it was getting dark. This is different from other projects. Jog Dealer is the only wearable device that depends on light effects as interaction rather than audio. The visitors were surprised with the structure of Jog Dealer that consists of cables and technologies; they thought the form of Jog Dealer is novel, and this would be helpful for them. However, there were also some valuable critiques and feedback received from the visitors and tutors who came to mark the presentation. The tutors have doubted whether amateurs or professional runners are Jog Dealer's target users since there is a potential to add functions that could meet accessibility. Also, according to the participants, they felt the Jog Dealer is still not light enough for everyone who will wear it to take exercise.
The outcome went unexpectedly successful; 50 copies of the brochure were all given to the participants. Around 20 people have worn Jog Dealer during the exhibit and gave us insightfully positive feedback. Especially when a visitor asked if we can present the prototype another day since he is an organiser of a running club and wondered if we can build a few prototypes for them. There was also an interesting thing that happened when one participant unintentionally damaged the prototype; this leads to the bad connection where the right direction light keeps launching randomly. Shortly after this incident, our course coordinator Lorna wore the vest and walked her way to the dean of faculty of EAIT and Vice-chancellor. We felt lucky enough that the bug did not trigger when Lorna showed our prototype to them.
In terms of functionality, the vest can be combined with GPS sensors or integrate with Google Map to improve some functions. We want to see that when the user turns, the turn signal will automatically light up instead of being triggered manually by the user. GPS sensors can do this. And this may also helpful for calculating the velocity and distance. Besides, when the calories consumed by the user reaches the target value, the vest will be able to remind the user, such as by sound or vibration. Moreover, when the user receives a warning prompt, the vest will also be able to give a reminder other than the visual, such as sound and vibration. In the hardware part, there are a large number of complex wires in the current prototype, which leads to the fragility of the prototype. In the future, soft printed circuit boards can be used to replace these wires to increase the stability of the prototype, while also making the prototype lighter and increase the aesthetics.