This project was assigned during the Covid-19 pandemic, our project brief was to design a wearable in any area that interested us. Being passionate about boxing, I remember the many instances when I would drop in on different gyms while I was looking for the best fit for me. I would always encounter the same problem: There was only one instructor for multiple students. This made it difficult for the instructor to keep up with everyone. As a result, some students had little to no instruction. I took this as an opportunity to tackle a problem that has been persistent by designing a wearable that would help facilitate the limited instruction received from large gyms and help develop the quality of training for the students. As a byproduct developing this wearable will also help reduce the risk of injury by helping develop a proper form.
Individual School Project
The objective is not to change the way people have been training instead I want to enhance their training for consistent improvement with a wearable. The problem I am focusing on is the inconsistent technique when boxing.
Currently, there are no direct competitors, but there are some devices that are similar in some aspects that my wearable might implement. The most similar identified was NADI X. NADI X is a pair of smart yoga pants paired with an app via Bluetooth. The yoga pants have an attachable battery pack that clips behind the left knee. Once the device is connected the user can launch the app and be guided through a yoga session, visually and auditory. The yoga pants emit a gentle vibration on the areas to focus on the most, there is also motion detection for pose correction.
Gyroscope accelerometer sensors are compact devices, perfect for embedding in clothing without interfering in the user's activity. The function of a gyroscope is to measure and determine the angular position beginning from the user's stance followed by the rotation produced from throwing a punch and ending with the stabilizing of the arm when the punch hits. The accelerometer's function is to determine the acceleration of a punch being thrown. Additionally, haptic sensors will also be used as a mode of communication to indicate where the user needs adjustment. I did consider using lights for feedback but quickly determined that lights could be difficult to see at times. Feedback will only be given when the improper technique is performed, the vibrations will only be on the area that the user needs to readjust. From all this, the app that will accompany the wearable will be able to measure the position and acceleration of punches and movement and establish a baseline of the user's capability.
I have decided that there will be two versions a Pro model and a Starter model, condensed at a lower price. The wearable will be using gyroscope accelerometer sensors. The intention that led to there being two different wearable models, is due to commitment. Boxing can be a difficult and demanding discipline, it can take some time to get comfortable with it. I have been boxing for 7+ years and there are only a few things that I have mastered. I remember when I first began, I purchased a pair of inexpensive gloves. At the time I was not sure how much I would commit. As I progressed and started taking it seriously I decided to invest in more expensive gloves. Having identified two different target market groups I discovered the opportunity to develop a pro and a standard model to appeal to both consumer's situational needs. For the Pro model, the sensors will be embedded in smart clothing located in the wrist, shoulders, chest, hips, and ankles. For the Starter model, the sensors will only be located in the wrist, chest, and shoulders. The sensors will measure the distance from the starting point to the endpoint of a punch and movement then the app will average it out to calculate the position you should always be landing when you throw a punch and reset.
THE FINAL PRODUCT_
Since the project was developed during the pandemic, I was unable to prototype and test the wearable. Although this started as a school project it has developed into a personal side project. I am actively reiterating on the wearable with the hopes of working on a prototype at a later time. In further iterations, I would like to explore more features for the app, I want to include the option to display the app to the tv, and even further down the line, I would like to develop a wearable for other disciplines like kickboxing. This project ranged in different sets of skills, from concept development, UI design, marketing, and 3d modeling. It was an enjoyable process having to learn new things to implement and elevate the project further.
Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.
– Bruce Lee