May 2, 2012 Pioneering research has applications in both health and sports.
MotivePro, which has been dubbed the 'Vibrating Suit', is one of a handful of recently completed projects.
The potential of the project, which helps athletes and other users to improve their memory of physical technique, has been recognized by Universities UK (UUK). The device has recently been tested by rising star and Olympic hopeful Mimi Cesar, the UK's 3rd ranking rhythmic gymnast.
The Birmingham City University research project is being led by a cross-disciplinary team including Professor Gregory Sporton, Senior Academic Stephen Wanless and PhD student Jonathon Green.
Professor Sporton said: "The suit is designed to give wearers feedback about where their body is in space. It does this by focusing on key points in the body, taking relative measurements between them to check the user's position. This data, much more simple to acquire and treat in real time than more complex motion capture systems, is then used to give the wearer feedback in real time about their movement.
"The sensors include a vibrating motor, like that found on a mobile phone, and these can be set to vibrate to indicate when someone moves outside a desirable range. This is not the only use of the data: it can also be transformed into sound or visual files, all designed to give feedback in real time that enables wearers to adjust their movements in performance.
"The system can also record the movements as well, to use after the event. This means that archives can be built up showing relative performance over time, any long term trajectories identified and the use of the data to make averages amongst particular user groups."
You can watch footage of the suit in Vibrating Suit in action on our YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A7e3G6uok8
Gregory Sporton is a Professor in Digital Creativity at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), part of Birmingham City University, while Stephen Wanless is a senior academic and patient handling lead based in the University's Faculty of Health.
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