Combining Skeletal Tracking and Virtual Reality for Game-based Fall Prevention Training for the Elderly

This paper provides a preliminary appraisal of combining commercial skeletal tracking and virtual reality technologies for the purposes of innovative gameplay interfaces in fall prevention exergames for the elderly. This work uses the previously published StepKinnection game, which used skeletal tracking with a flat screen monitor, as a primary point of comparison for the proposed combination of these interaction modalities. Here, a Microsoft Kinect is used to track the player's skeleton and represent it as an avatar in the virtual environment while the HTC Vive is used for head tracking and virtual reality visualization. Multiple avatar positioning modes are trialled and discussed via a small self-reflective study (with the authors as participants) to examine their ability to allow accurate stepping motions, maintain physical comfort, and encourage self-identification or empathy with the avatar. While this is just an initial study, it highlights promising opportunities for designing engaging step training games with this integrated interface but also highlights its limitations, especially in the context of an unsupervised exercise program of older people in independent living situations.
William Raffe
Jaime Garcia
Presented At
6th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, SeGAH 2018 - Vienna, Austria
Conference Proceedings