Exercising regularly is difficult and people who slack off do so primarily because of a lack of motivation or time. We wanted to create an app that addressed both these issues and promote a healthier lifestyle for people. Doing exercises alone is not fun. We believe that competition among your friends can act as a social incentive to push yourself while working out. In addition, unlike popular belief, people do not have to set aside a specific time for exercise. Breaking down exercise into one minute segments can add up to significant health benefits for busy people.
What it does
Libero is a fitness app that connects people through healthy, minute-long competitions. Anyone wearing a MyO band can start the timer with a simple hand gesture, and begin Currently, the app can detect the number of push-ups, jumping jacks and bench presses. By analyzing muscle movement patterns, specifically in terms of Euler orientation, Libero counts the number of pushups that a user completes. Each time the proper pushup form is detected, the MyO band will vibrate, giving the user real-time feedback on the effectiveness of their workout. The app also compares the user to another person who is completing the same exercise in real time, providing a competitive element and additional motivation.
How we built it
We first used the MyO armband to monitor a set of push-ups from multiple users of varying athletic ability. Through graphical signal analysis, we then determined the most prominent patterns in the resulting accelerometer, gyroscope, Euler angles, and quaternion position data to construct an algorithm that would log only proper push-ups. We took advantage of existing gestures that the MyO band recognized to incorporate a start (open hand) and stop gesture (clenched fist) commands for the timer, further streamlining the workout.
Front-end was developed in Android Studio, with graphics drawn in Intaglio. The backend server was built using NodeJS.
Challenges we ran into
It was difficult to determine an algorithm for people with varying arm length and body size. However, with a large set of data, we were able to develop an algorithm that is highly sensitive to individual differences and proceeds to counting the number of repetitions based on each person’s unique set of movements.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Although the app is simple, it addresses several key issues that drive unhealthy lifestyles and promotes a sustainable exercise routine. We were able to take advantage of the gestures that MyO already recognizes, and build a completely new function using the raw data that MyO can capture. We were also able to detect some common exercises using Myo band, and the app allows you to compare your scores with your friends through backend server.
What we learned
From our brainstorming process, we learned a lot about the different types of hardware and the scopes of their practicality in specific fields. With the MyO band, we learned a lot about statistics in pattern detection and modeling real-time human behavior. In addition, we all reinforced our skills in Android Studio by building the Android app that converted the hardware data to user-friendly information.
What's next for Libero?
We will use Libero to extend this competitive spirit towards other forms of exercise, including sit-ups, squats, jumping jacks, etc., as well as in sports. Both beginners and seasoned athletes could benefit from the extra motivation, and tailored feedback at the muscular level to correct their form. The MyO band offers them a way to self-regulate that is more convenient, precise, and effective compared to human physical trainers.
We also hope to incorporate additional wearables such as Microsoft band, Apple watch, Fitbit, and other fitness trackers so that more people can take advantage of this simple fitness routine.
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