iPhone accelerometer in action as a sports monitoring device

iphone accelerometer sports
The accelerometer and gyroscope sensors coupled with GPS is in use daily by many of the worlds football codes. Did you know this technology is built into iPhones. The sensors allow the monitoring of acceleration in x,y,z and angular velocity around x,y,z. This gives 6 degrees of freedom which is perfect for monitoring human sporting activity. These sensors can have sample rates up to 100Hz which gives a unique insight into the sporting activity which cannot be easily seen by the naked eye if at all. The GPS and compass allows position and orientation to be obtained at 1Hz which is useful for monitoring position on a track, course, or field.

The advantages of using the iPhone/iPod to measure sporting activity is that:

  • Allows the measurement of sporting activity away from the lab environment and at the play/training environment.
  • the general public’s familiarity gives better uptake of the technology. Most people own one or have used one and like doing so
  • Has a good array of inertial sensors to monitor activity
  • A variety of radios to transmit the data
  • it is well engineered
  • We have investigated the use ofiPhone with adhoc newtork for close situational monitoring and router based networks for full field monitoring. As an example, a router based network was used to boost the distance such that a cricket player could be monitored upto 100m away in the centre of a cricket pitch. The acceleration measurement can be seen in the image below.

    This same technology can be applied to creative arts such as dance. Dance is physical movement which can be characterised and monitored using the iPhone’s sensors in the same way that sporting activities are monitored.