Notes on “Jogging over a Distance”

November 2, 2008

Jogging over a Distance—Supporting a “Jogging Together” Experience Although Being Apart: Florian Mueller, Alex Thorogood, Shannon O’Brien

The gist: This is a typical Ubicomp “we built something cool” paper. In this case, two joggers in different locations wear headsets that keep an audio connection alive. Spatial audio positioning makes it sound as if the other jogger is ahead or behind based on whether the other jogger is running faster or slower. 

The good:

  • Cool idea. 
  • They came up with a neat trick to do the spatial positioning with stereo headphones: Position the “front” sound at 1:30 and the “back” sound at 7:30 so that “front” sound is also slightly right and “back” sound is also slightly left.

The bad: They did no formal study of the utility of the system. This is a cool product prototype without much science backing it up. If they believe in it, they should commercialize and sell it, or do a formal study showing that users like it or that it encourages good behaviour.

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