So your running partner has moved interstate? No problem ? this may not stop you running ?together? thanks to mobile phone and GPS technology that uses custom software to turn a phone conversation into a 2D audio experience.
The Jogging over a Distance system has been developed by University of Melbourne postgraduate researcher Florian ?Floyd? Mueller (Information Systems) and CSIRO colleagues Shannon O?Brien and Alex Thorogood.
Running partners wear two identical sets of equipment containing a Bluetooth GPS receiver, a 3G mobile phone connection, a miniature computer and a wireless modem in a closefitting backpack, and a headset.
GPS data is transmitted wirelessly to the computer where an algorithm determines how fast each is running and calculates a sound position that determines the audio each jogger hears. Runners hear their partner?s voice coming from the front, to the side, or behind, depending on how fast or slow each is running.
?It?s a way to support social joggers to motivate one another to jog and push each other, even with being in two different cities or countries,? says Mueller.
The system can be adjusted for those who run at different paces, preserving a ?virtual challenge? without one having to slow down or speed up to accommodate the other.
Jogging over a Distance was demonstrated at the recent Computer-Human Interaction 2007 Conference in San Jose, California, USA, attracting media coverage on the Discovery website and the ABC.