Exertion interfaces: sports over a distance for social bonding and fun
An Exertion Interface is an interface that deliberately requires intense physical effort. Exertion Interfaces have applications in "Sports over a Distance", potentially capitalizing on the power of traditional physical sports in supporting social bonding. We designed, developed, and evaluated an Exertion Interface that allows people who are miles apart to play a physically exhausting ball game together. Players interact through a life-size video-conference screen using a regular soccer ball as an input device. The Exertion Interface users said that they got to know the other player better, had more fun, became better friends, and were happier with the transmitted audio and video quality, in comparison to those who played the same game using a non-exertion keyboard interface. These results suggest that an Exertion Interface, as compared to a traditional interface, offers increased opportunities for connecting people socially, especially when they have never met before.