Squid: Exercise Effectiveness and Muscle Activation Tracking System

Abstract

The rise in mobile media’s prevalence and power in recent years has spurred the emergence of a robust market with far-ranging applications for new technology. Extremely powerful data collection and distribution tools, like smartphones, are increasingly available to the average consumer. Squid’s design team aims to use mobile media to bridge the gap between clinical exercise monitoring technology and mainstream users.   Squid is comprised of a sensitized compression shirt, compatible smartphone app and personal website manager. Squid uses electromyography (EMG) to monitor muscle activation as a direct measure of exercise efficiency with the combination of a compression garment and a lightweight signal filtering unit, both connected to a smartphone. A smartphone app provides real-time biofeedback, motivation and convenience to individuals; its companion website indexes a complete workout history, tracking detailed progress over time.  Squid’s interdisciplinary team has worked to combine hardware, software and graphic design into a streamlined, marketable system. The V2 prototype (V1 completed Dec 2011) is targeted towards collegiate athletic teams. The app and website, tailored to those users, offers a clear user interface and meaningful user experience while allowing for extremely detailed tracking of individual progress by athletes and coaching staff. A premium was placed on simplicity and unobtrusiveness to a workout, with more complex feedback and a richer experience available on the website.  After a successful pilot testing in the fall of 2011, the team will test a more robust version of the system with collegiate athletes from the University in the spring of 2012.