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AI for Enhanced Fitness Assessment and Tracking

The Centre for Intelligent Multidimensional Data Analysis (CIMDA) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has recently developed two innovative AI technologies that promote physical fitness among students and teachers. These cutting-edge solutions, known as Sports Activity Assessment and AI Runner Track, offer a cost-effective and user-friendly approach, enabling students to engage in immersive digital experiences while allowing teachers to accurately monitor their progress. CIMDA operates as a renowned research centre established under the InnoHK program, which receives funding from the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC).

The first groundbreaking innovation, Sports Activity Assessment, introduces a runner simulation system that revolutionises warm-up exercises. Users simply need to wear a compact and lightweight ankle band to engage in a simulated racing game.

This immersive experience offers five modes, including skipping, star jumping, high knee running, push-ups, and sit-ups. By gamifying the warm-up exercises, students are motivated to actively participate and improve their physical performance. It is crucial to note that the quality and speed of their warm-up directly impact their performance in the racing game, further enhancing their overall fitness levels.

The second innovation is AI Runner Track, an advanced runner assessment system that combines gamification with racing elements, primarily emphasising the monitoring of time and speed. Users attach a specialised tag to their vests while running, which is automatically detected by cameras positioned along a designated running track.

This cutting-edge system has the ability to accurately capture the running time and speed of a large group of users in real-time. Additionally, it can rank the users based on their performance, ranging from the fastest to the slowest. This comprehensive and efficient solution provides valuable insights and feedback to both students and teachers, enabling them to track progress and make informed adjustments to optimise their running capabilities.

Professor Yan Hong, the Director of CIMDA and Wong Chun Hong Professor of Data Engineering stated the aim of integrating innovative technologies into the physical education (PE) curriculum. The objective is to assist teachers in reducing time-consuming and laborious evaluation tasks by providing them with faster and more precise solutions.

Simultaneously, students can enjoy a more enjoyable and efficient PE lesson experience. By implementing these innovative technologies, the Centre for Intelligent Multidimensional Data Analysis (CIMDA) aims to enhance the overall quality of PE education.

These systems are designed to be applied not only in schools but also in various sports institutions that seek to incorporate technology in their physical training programs for groups consisting of over 35 individuals. These solutions excel in their ability to manage subjects who may be moving rapidly, as the evaluations are automatic and instantaneous.

Results are captured in real-time, allowing students and teachers to easily monitor progress and enhance performance. With the convenience of instant feedback, these technologies facilitate a more efficient and effective approach to tracking and improving physical fitness.

The cost advantages of these systems, should they not necessitate extensive equipment, will result in significantly lower overall expenses compared to similar systems that may require pricier gear. Furthermore, the systems are designed to be user-friendly and easily set up, even for individuals who are less familiar with computers and electronic devices. This eliminates the need for extensive pre-implementation work such as staff training or student workshops, saving both time and costs associated with these activities. The focus is on providing accessible and efficient solutions that optimise resource utilisation.

The integration of cutting-edge AI technology is rapidly gaining momentum and aligns with the strategic research theme of Digital Society at City University of Hong Kong (CityU). This theme highlights the cultivation and advancement of digital innovations to facilitate the growth of a digitally connected society. By incorporating AI into various domains, including physical fitness education, CityU aims to contribute to the overall development and progress of a digital society.

CIMDA actively collaborates with prestigious universities and prominent research leaders from various institutions and industries. Their collaborative efforts extend across a wide range of fields, including multimedia and biomedical big data analysis, sound/music/dance composition, virtual coaches for dancing and fitness exercises, digital entertainment, elderly care, computer animation, augmented reality, and parallel hardware accelerators based on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). This diverse collaboration enables CIMDA to translate its cutting-edge research into practical applications that have real-world impact in multiple domains.


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