Race By Hearts

Using Technology to Facilitate Enjoyable and Social Workouts
  • Tobias Sonne
  • Mads Møller Jensen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8770)


In this paper, we explore the qualities of sharing biometric data in real-time between athletes, in order to increase two motivational factors for gym-goers: Enjoyment and social interaction. We present a novel smartphone application, called Race By Hearts, which enables competition based on heart rate data sharing between users in real-time. Through an empirical study conducted in the gym, we show that sharing biometric data in real-time can strengthen social relations between participants, increase motivation, and improve the enjoyment of the fitness activity. Nevertheless, we found that introducing competition based on real-time sharing of biometric data can cause exasperation and discouragement for some athletes. Based on our findings from the study, we discuss how technology can facilitate and modify competition in fitness exercises in general.


Exertion interfaces interactive sport-training systems biometric feedback heart rate wearable computing 


  1. 1.
    Consolvo, S., Everitt, K., Smith, I., Landay, J.A.: Design Requirements for Technologies That Encourage Physical Activity. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 457–466. ACM (2006)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Crossley, N.: In the Gym: Motives, Meaning and Moral Careers. Body & Society 12(3), 23–50 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Curmi, F., Ferrario, M.A., Southern, J., Whittle, J.: HeartLink: Open broadcast of live biometric data to social networks. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1749–1758. ACM (2013)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jensen, M.M., Rasmussen, M.K., Grønbæk, K.: Exploring Opponent Formats. In: Anacleto, J.C., Clua, E.W.G., da Silva, F.S.C., Fels, S., Yang, H.S. (eds.) ICEC 2013. LNCS, vol. 8215, pp. 48–60. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lin, J.J., Mamykina, L., Lindtner, S., Delajoux, G., Strub, H.B.: Fish‘n’Steps: Encour-aging Physical Activity with an Interactive Computer Game. In: Dourish, P., Friday, A. (eds.) UbiComp 2006. LNCS, vol. 4206, pp. 261–278. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mueller, F., Vetere, F., Gibbs, M., et al.: Balancing exertion experiences. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1853–1862. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mueller, F., Vetere, F., Gibbs, M.R., Edge, D., Agamanolis, S., Sheridan, J.G.: Jogging over a distance between Europe and Australia. In: Proceedings of the 23nd Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pp. 189–198. ACM (2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Nenonen, V., Lindblad, A., Häkkinen, V., Laitinen, T., Jouhtio, M., Hämäläinen, P.: Using heart rate to control an interactive game. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 853–856. ACM (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Stach, T., Graham, T.C.N., Yim, J., Rhodes, R.E.: Heart Rate Control of Exercise Video Games. In: Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2009, pp. 125–132. Canadian Information Processing Society (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Walmink, W., Wilde, D., Mueller, F.: “Floyd.” Displaying Heart Rate Data on a Bicycle Helmet to Support Social Exertion Experiences. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, pp. 97–104. ACM (2013)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gym Membership Statistics | Statistic Brain,

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tobias Sonne
    • 1
  • Mads Møller Jensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAarhus UniversityDenmark

Personalised recommendations