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Stefan Soutschek M. Sc.

Alumnus of the Pattern Recognition Lab of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

InformARTik: Technology, Art and Communication

The Ergo-Feeder


Physical activity is one of the most important factors in the daily live of elderly people, e.g. to improve mobility or to prevent falls through improved physical fitness. Together with mental health, the physical condition is crucial for a self-determined life in the familiar home environment.

Within the research project FitForAge, we present an interface, which is especially designed to provide an easy and intuitive access to supervised physical activity for elderly people and which is easy to integrate in a home environment.
During an arbitrary exercise, which is specified by a physician and personalized according to the needs of the user, the electrocardiogram (ECG) is measured. Out of the ECG, the heart beats per minute are calculated to provide a measure for the current state of the physical strain. With the additional information of the optimal training range of the user, an intuitive audio-visual feedback system is set up, which recompenses the user while training in the optimal training range and otherwise intuitively suggests the user to correct the training.

More precisely, the user can choose between different audio-visual materials, e.g. music or video files, which are only rendered in correct speed if the heart rate of the user is in the optimal training range. Otherwise, the speed is continuously adapted to the current physical strain to indicate the direction in which the user has left the optimal range.

To avoid additional equipment in the home environment of elderly people, the complete audio-visual feedback is displayed on a conventional television, which is available in nearly every home nowadays.
In an evaluation, the interface is compared to unsupervised training with respect to the measured time, the user trained in the optimal training range.