New publication: Using Degraded Music Quality to Encourage a Health Improving Walking Pace: BeatClearWalker

Meeting the target of 8000 steps/day, as recommended by many national governments and health authorities, can provide considerable physical and mental health benefits and is seen as a key target for reducing obesity levels and improving public health. However, to optimize the health benefits, walking should be performed at a “moderate” intensity. While there are numerous mobile fitness applications that monitor distance walked, none directly support walking at this cadence nor has there been any research into live feedback for walking cadence. We present a smartphone fitness application to help users learn how to walk at a moderate cadence and maintain that cadence. We apply real-time audio effects that diminish the audio quality of music when the target walking cadence is not being reached. This provides an immersive and intuitive application that can easily be integrated into everyday life as allows users to walk while listening to their own music and encourages eyes-free interaction. In this paper, we introduce our approach, design, initial lab evaluation and a controlled outdoor study. Results show that using music degradation decreases the number of below-cadence steps, that users felt they worked harder with our player and would use it while exercise walking.

Komninos, A., Dunlop M. D., Rowe D., Hewitt A., & Coull S. (2015).  Using Degraded Music Quality to Encourage a Health Improving Walking Pace: BeatClearWalker. EAI Endorsed Transactions on Ambient Systems. 7(2), ., EAI. DOI:10.4108/icst.pervasivehealth.2015.259072
Download full text: 

Using data from Social Media to inform urban interventions [Greek only]

I gave an invited talk at a 2-day workshop (17-18/3/2015) titled "Sustainable Mobility in the context of the Smart City". The talk focused on the potential of harvested data from social media, as a cheap and valuable resource that can inform urban planning.

The slides are attached (however, it's in Greek only!).

Visualising Urban Social Context in Patras, Greece [Video]

As part of my ongoing research, I have been collecting Foursquare check-in data for the city of Patras since June 2012. Recently I made a short video that shows the spatial analysis of these check-ins for two months (21/11/2014-21/1/2015) and depicts the city's urban social context for that period.

You can see the video here