Mobile Sonification for Athletes: A Case Study in Commercialization of Sonification
Boyd, Jeffery E.
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Several companies, including Under Armour, Nike and Adidas, are taking advantage of advances in sensor technology to sell wearable systems that measure, record, and analyze the motion of athletes. To date, these systems make little, if any use of sonification. Therefore, there is an opportunity for sonification methods in this domain, including the potential to reach a mass market. In the fall of 2013, Under Armour and NineSigma created the Armour39 Challenge, an open call for proposals to build new technology for the Armour39, Under Armour’s wearable motion and heart-rate sensor. The authors of this paper responded to the challenge, proposing novel sonification systems to exploit the data from the Armour39. This paper presents these systems, including issues, solutions, and tools for sonification performed on a mobile device with a wearable sensor. The sonifications are rhythmic, exploiting the periodicity of human motion, and are demonstrated by sonifying athletic performance metrics in real-time for speed skating and running.