Development of a user-centred design methodology to accommodate changing hardware and software user requirements in the sports domain

2012-08-01T11:53:40Z (GMT) by Sarah Mullane
The research presented in this thesis focuses on the development of wireless, real time performance monitoring technology within the resistance training domain. The functionality of current performance monitoring technology and differences in monitoring ability is investigated through comparative force platform, video and accelerometer testing and analysis. Determining the complexity of resistance training exercises and whether performance variable profiles such as acceleration, velocity and power can be used to characterise lifts is also investigated. A structured user-centred design process suitable for the sporting domain is proposed and followed throughout the research to consider the collection, analysis and communication of performance data. Identifying the user requirements and developing both hardware and software to meet the requirements also forms a major part of the research. The results indicate that as the exercise complexity increases, the requirement for sophisticated technology increases. A simple tri-axial accelerometer can be used to monitor simple linear exercises at the recreational level. Gyroscope technology is required to monitor complex exercises in which rotation of the bar occurs. Force platform technology is required at the elite level to monitor the distribution of force and resultant balance throughout a lift (bilateral difference). An integrated system consisting of an Inertial Measurement Unit (both accelerometer and gyroscope technology) and a double plate force platform is required to accurately monitor performance in the resistance training domain at the elite level.