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Gamify the Aitex project that researches and develops smart textiles for gamification

In recent years, mobile technology has changed our daily lives a lot, over the years smartphones have evolved a lot and many new technologies have been created. One of the new mechanics that has been introduced is gamification.

The gamificación or gamification in English, is a common mechanism in video games, but in a context that does not belong to the world of video games to get participants to reach a certain goal by interaction or competition. According to studies of the sector, when a sporting activity is added to play components, the performance, motivation and enjoyment of the practitioners increases.

In this way, sports brands can take advantage of this technique to generate more attractive experiences , which allows them to attract and retain new audiences, as well as generate new dynamics among their users. Some of the benefits of gamification in sport are to boost motivation, self-improvement, cooperative and community work.

Gamification motivates people by introducing playful components

The gamification get people to motivate the components introduced ludic, which make users try to outdo watching their progress , which can be shared with the community; and overcoming challenges by competing against other users.

In this sense, Aitex is working on the Gamify project in order to research and develop smart textiles for gamification. The project has the support of the Sustainable Economy, Sectors Productius, Commerce and Work Department of the Generalitat Valenciana , through IVACE (File: IMAMCI / 2020/1).

One of the main results of the project is an intelligent system through the use of motion sensors capable of knowing the position and orientation of the different extremities of the body in order to develop a tool that allows rehabilitation in case of injuries and improvement of the sports performance.

Gamificación
Photo: Adobe Stock

For this, an application will be developed, where the user will be able to perform rehabilitation and training exercises to check in real time if they are executing them well or need to improve their technique. This rehabilitation system will use artificial intelligence tools, techniques and algorithms in order to model rehabilitation exercises or sports training.

By using these tools, the model has a certain intelligence and is learning and training automatically, each time improving its precision. In this way, through the use of shirts and tights with integrated inertial movement sensors , IMU ( Inertial Measurement Units ), the user can perform the exercises while the sensors automatically send the position data of different parts of the body wirelessly to the application to mobile devices.

Sports brands can take advantage of gamification to generate more engaging experiences

The sensor data is collected by the mobile device ( smartphone or tablet) and the application checks that the sensor data matches that of the model. In this way, the user is alerted to whether the exercise is well performed and in what percentage.

On the other hand, the application will have a menu where you can access a history of data and exercises and be able to analyze the progress while using the system. The application will have three types of basic exercises already modeled and ready for use, but at the same time it will allow the doctor, physiotherapist or trainer to upload models of new exercises for the user to perform. In this way, the Gamify App is dynamic , allowing the type of exercises to evolve according to the user’s needs.

The Gamify project is also working on developing knitted textile solutions with pressure sensors that allow the pressure to be detected when a user presses certain areas of the textile. For this, use is being made of the latest generation weft knitting equipment, a versatile technology that allows the individual integration of each yarn in unique places designated in the design process, thanks to its self-sufficient feeding system, allowing each thread guide can be moved independently.

This system is very suitable for the development of sensorized fabrics since it allows the insertion of conductive threads in the desired places without the need for subsequent processes. More specifically, in this line we are working on a textile screen with different luminescent areas so that they turn off when pressed. This textile screen will allow rehabilitation exercises to be carried out in such a way that different areas are illuminated at random and the user has to turn them off. This will allow the user to perform upper trunk exercises and improve the mobility of the arms and hands.

The Gamify project is also working on the development of knitted textile solutions with pressure sensors

For this, work is being done on the development of 3D knitted fabrics , also known as spacers, combined with conductive yarns to integrate pressure sensors into textile surfaces.

This type of fabrics is characterized by offering a textile structure with volume , that is, a structure composed of two layers of fabric separated by a core of filaments perpendicular to them.

Gamificación
Photo: Adobe stock

In these layers, conductive threads are integrated in symmetrical areas, in such a way that when the fabric is at rest the areas with conductive thread are separated by the filaments, but when a certain pressure is exerted on them, a deformation of the filaments occurs and thus the contact of the two conductive zones, being able to generate an electrical signal.

In addition to the solutions discussed, work is also being done to develop a collection of garments for gamification and sports that allow the insertion and removal of movement sensors in an easy way in order to allow machine washing of the garment. These garments with a marked sports character will be adjusted to the body and made of technical fabric, so that they allow the sensors to be attached close to the body and that they do not move during the execution of the exercises and sports practice.

Ultimately, the Gamify project will generate a series of textile, electronic and computer solutions that will improve the quality of life of users while improving their entertainment through gamification.

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Source : Aitex