The Loh Down On Science

New technology allows runners to read on treadmill

Need to take up running but prefer to read?  Now you can do both!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

And ReadingMate.  A device that lets you read while running on a treadmill.  

It's the brainchild of industrial engineers at Purdue University.  It works by adjusting text on a monitor to compensate for a runner's bobbing head.

Special goggles and a Wii remote track the runner's head motion.  That data is sent to software that adjusts the text on the monitor.  The software accounts for the fact that people's eyes also make minor adjustments to compensate for motion.

Fifteen people were recruited to test the system.  Most were regular runners.  Their task?  To count the number of times the letter "f" appeared in ten lines of text.

Turns out people's "f" count was more accurate with ReadingMate than without.  Especially when font size and line spacing were smaller.

So, great!  Because not being able to read while jogging—that's what was really keeping me out of the gym ... sure!

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

 

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