Developing a Multimodal Entertainment Tool with Intuitive Navigation, Hands-Free Control, and Avatar Features, to Increase User Interactivity

Author: ORCID icon
Lin, Megan, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Gerling, Gregory, EN-Eng Sys and Environment, University of Virginia
Rogers, Hannah, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The primary objective of this thesis is to analyze how technology has created a culture of sedentarism and obesity in the US and explore feasible solutions to reintroduce physical activity into daily life. Sedentarism is the culture of daily routines and habits that require low levels of physical activity. Although there is not a specific list of habits this culture encapsulates, it can be generalized to habits that have feasible alternatives that require moderate to high levels of activity. Examples include using an elevator over stairs, microwaving a frozen dinner over cooking from scratch, and shopping online over in person. Many of these activities vary in the type of alternatives, but many are influenced by modern breakthroughs in technology. Overall, these technologies have developed efficient alternatives to many daily tasks which have, in turn, contributed to our obesity crisis. However, there have been efforts made to reincorporate physical activity into these tasks in a neutral or attractive way to the user, like the standing desk. This paper will elaborate on sociotechnical perspectives including the government’s, entertainment companies’, and various organizations using the Social Construction of Technology framework (Klein & Kleinman). It was found that although there are some breakthroughs in technologies that incorporate physical activity like the Nintendo Switch and France’s soda tax, overall these are rarely implemented as it is difficult to please the major groups involved.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
UX Design, Sedentarism, Obesity, Entertainment, Video Games, Systems Design
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