Real-time player positioning in mobile exergames using wireless sensors

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Exergames combine exercising with game play by requiring the users to perform exercise in order to score points in the game. Exergaming is a plausible approach for decreasing obesity by promoting physical activity through interactive games. This thesis presents a mobile exergame, investigates its influence on people's physical activity and measures its effectiveness. This research is a continuation of a previous research study done by Dr. Pradeep Buddharaju, and the main aim of this thesis is to overcome the limitations of this work. Recently, Dr. Buddharaju presented a novel mobile exergame that needed two pieces of portable equipment - a smartphone (with an in-built camera, accelerometer and gyroscope) and an ExerPad (custom designed Exercising Pad consisting of various shapes and colors). The main limitation of the proposed exergame was that the image processing algorithms that were used for detecting the player’s position on the Exerpad performed poorly in low-light conditions. The main goal of this thesis is to replace the Exerpad with a more robust and accurate player positioning system. In order to achieve a positioning accuracy of a few centimeters, Dr. Buddharaju and I developed a solution using a wireless radio technology called Ultra-Wideband (UWB) sensors. The experimental results showed that the proposed positioning technology makes the mobile exergames more enjoyable, and most importantly helps users to burn calories while having fun.