Working out at home has never been so popular. However, it still can’t compare with exercising in the gym and being coached. Virtual fitness is mostly screen-based and therefore limited to visual and auditory interaction. This slimmed-down digital trainer is missing some key features: users receive no feedback on whether they carry out an exercise safely and correctly, and not every exercise position allows users to view the screen. Nor would they wish to – exercise should offer a welcome break from screen time.
Arduino, Processing, Figma, Photoshop, Illustrator, Camera
Design Research, Design Thinking, Interviews, Physical & Digital Prototyping,Presentation
While fitness exercises vary a lot in form and effect, they have one common element that appears on different levels: rhythm. We find a rhythm in the individual repetitions and the sets and intervals that contain them. Its impact is significant – the right rhythm serves as a guide for the right intensity and execution in terms of tempo and breathing. 
Rhythm is something we feel, therefore the interaction design should be haptic. User tests revealed that the wrist is a pleasant and effective spot to receive haptic feedback. It’s a sensitive area where we’re already used to reading information – like a watch or testing our pulse. It also allows for freedom of movement.
In a series of experiments, I explored where rhythmic impulses can be attached to the body of the user, how the impulse can feel and in which way it can improve the experience. Therefore I built a software tool that allowed me to control a vibration motor and apply different patterns of vibration and levels of intensity to it.
Metron is an application that guides individual workouts with dynamic haptic feedback. It converts a fitness routine into an oscillating pulse that keeps you in rhythm. The pulse follows a steady sine waveform: the vibration signal is always on, but its intensity fades in and out analogous to the movement. This flowing, dynamic feedback places emphasis on the highs and lows of the exercise. 
Metron works with the hardware embedded in a typical smartwatch. Equipped with a tactile engine that can be programmed, most smartwatches would be capable of transmitting Metron’s dynamic vibration signal. Once the routine is set up, Metron sends the signal to the watch, and the workout can begin.
The project emerged from the Hyperhaptics research project in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity and the Weißensee Academy of Art and Design Berlin.
Supervised by Prof. Carola Zwick, Prof. Judith Glaser, and Felix Rasehorn

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