Bachelor Thesis – Virtual Pacemaker

Pacemakers play an important role in running training. They motivate the runner to achieve certain lap times in order to optimally implement the specified training plan. The extent to which current AR technology is suitable for this was recently investigated as part of a final thesis.

The result is impressive: a Unity application was created for the Meta Quest 3, which can be used on all 400-meter running tracks. Training plans can be stored and a virtual avatar serves as a pacemaker to keep the runner “on track”.

The following points in particular were examined in detail:

– 𝗣𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀-𝗗𝗿𝗶𝗳𝘁: 400 meters are long… and it is helpful if the virtual pacemaker remains correctly positioned at the end of the lap. Typically, VR applications always take place in much smaller environments. We have noticed that there are certain deviations in the Meta Quest internal position determination over this long distance. Therefore, an automatic recalibration is carried out at 4 points along the route.

– 𝗟𝗮𝘂𝗳𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝗶𝘁 𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗲: Our original concerns as to whether current hardware could already be used for running have been dispelled. In a field test with several runners, no one had any significant difficulties completing a training session with the Meta Quest on their head

– 𝗔𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗲: human-like avatars help runners to get a real running feeling. In experiments with moving dots or lines, the motivation factor was significantly lower than with “real moving” avatars. The Mixamo platform was chosen for this because it is easy to integrate and offers appealingly visualized and animated avatars.

– 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴: the built-in functionalities of Unity and Meta Quest 3 are completely sufficient to realize even complex, interactive applications with a large radius of action.

Based on these results, it was not only possible to gain important insights for the realization of AR/VR applications, but also to implement a concrete use case. A very good example of the intersection of theory and practice! Congratulations to Achim Schneider for this great work.

If you would like to write a thesis or suggest a topic, please contact me!