PROTOTYPE

AquaCAVE, a System for Enhancing the Swimming Experience

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Augmented Swimming Environment with Immersive Surround-Screen Virtual Reality

Swimming is regarded as a very good form of exercise for those of us who want to maintain good health. But the pool is a simple place. Swimming for extensive periods of time can be boring, thus making it difficult to maintain one’s motivation. By changing the scenery of what would otherwise be a monotonous pool, the act of swimming could possibly be lent a great sense of freedom.

AquaCAVE is a system that generates the scenery in which a swimmer is immersed through the use of pool walls as a rear-projection screen. The swimmer can experience immersion in three-dimensional visuals just like those made possible by CAVE virtual reality technology.

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The swimmer wears swimming goggles that act as 3D liquid-crystal display (LCD) shutter glasses. Multiple infrared cameras track the position of the head of the swimmer in motion. Because the head of the swimmer is constantly sensed and tracked, the swimmer is provided with an immersive stereoscopic projection experience that feels real. This means, for instance, enjoying the sense of swimming in a beautiful coral reef or in space, or even racing against a past version of oneself or the world’s fastest swimmer… The system can also be used in training to provide feedback in real time that can be applied to the improvement of one’s swimming form.

For a diverse audience that includes anybody from the recreational swimmer to the serious athlete, AquaCAVE enhances the swimming experience.

Click here for the project website of the Rekimoto Lab at the University of Tokyo.

text:Takashi Miyaki