Balancing Accuracy and Fun: Designing Camera Based Mobile Games for Implicit Heart Rate Monitoring

Abstract

Heart rate monitoring is widely used in clinical care, fitness training, and stress management. However, tracking individuals' heart rates faces two major challenges, namely equipment availability and user motivation. In this paper, we present a novel technique, LivePulse Games (LPG), to measure users' heart rates in real time by having them play games on unmodified mobile phones. With LPG, the heart rate is calculated by detecting changes in transparency of users' fingertips via the built-in camera of a mobile device. More importantly, LPG integrate users' camera lens covering actions as an essential control mechanism in game play, and detect heart rates implicitly from intermittent lens covering actions. We explore the design space and trade-offs of LPG through three rounds of iterative design. In a 12-subject user study, we found that LPG are fun to play and can measure heart rates accurately. We also report the insights for balancing measurement speed, accuracy, and entertainment value in LPG.

DOI: 10.1145/2702123.2702502

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