Spotter is a navigation device design for life guards in order to create safer environment for athletes.
Spotter is a monitoring and navigation equipment for triathlon life guards. Our focus is to prevent fatal accidents in triathlon. During our research it has showed most of the fatal accidents happens during swimming and chaotic environment makes it difficult to lifeguards to spot and reach athletes in need. Spotter is a product family including two parts. Wristband and the headband. Wristband monitors triathletes fatal signs and sends that information to the Spotter(headband). Spotter receives critical information of the triathletes such as heart failure, hypothermia etc. and navigates lifeguards to point of accident through “binaural sound” and “navigational light”.
We wanted to create a positive, empowering perspective and safe environment in a chaotic and hectic competition. Triathlon is such a competitive environment where athletes test their endurance, strength, completion time, including timed "transitions" between the individual swim, cycle, and run components. First of all, it is a sports activity and the aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing entertainment to participants, and in some cases, spectators. Fatal injuries drifts the focus of an sportif occasion, and it might be easy to forget that triathlon is a competition after all. In addition with the improving technologies there is a possibility to prevent deathly consequences, raise awareness of the athletes on their condition and create safe environment for sport activities.
The day we received the brief, we came across an article of an triathlon athlete that had hypothermia during the practice and almost died, in front of her coach and all the lifeguards. We were really moved by that article and decided to research deeper. We have search the challenges, dangerous areas about triathlon, interview triathletes and try to grasp their experiences and emotions. We asked ourselves how we can prevent and monitor critical accidents.
In a holistic approach we consider stakeholders such as athletes, lifeguards, trainers, competitions organizers and even hospitals near by. We explore the medium such as sound and light and use “soundboards” as a communication tool in order to convey and discuss sound designs. To design sound we use Audacity, Adobe Audition and GarageBand.
Throughout the project we prototyped early and often, we build Lo-fi and Hi-fi prototypes of our design and tested how people interact with the spotter as a navigation tool. This helped us to improve our design. We built the final model in Alias Automotive and then rapid prototype, sanded and painted it in our workshops. The final model built as previous stage of production and we also built working physical Arduino prototype.
Our aim is to monitor athletes and communicate that information to system where organizers can track. This information is transferred to lifeguards in a danger situation and guide them to the athlete who is in need as soon as possible.
SPOTTER offers opportunity for a better safer sport environment. Most of the triathlon athletes are in doubt if they are safe and if they need, help might not come in time.
Having to say goodbye to a fellow athlete is certainly demotivating as one of the triathlon states. Spotter creates safer, trustworthy environment for the athletes, helps lifeguards to reach to an athlete in need and prevent fatal injuries. It also takes attention to the sports losses.