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System and method for generating escalating mobile device alerts triggered by physical inactivity detected using a built-in accelerometer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000223375D
Publication Date: 2012-Nov-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to motivate users to break long periods of inactivity, especially during the workday. The invention is a mobile device application that detects when a user is moving, and if they are not, alerts them to prompt them to get up and engage in movement. If the user does not move upon receiving the first alert, then the alerts escalate.

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System and method for generating escalating mobile device alerts triggered by physical inactivity detected using a built-in accelerometer

Lack of physical movement in the workplace can contribute to disease (e.g., obesity), reduced productivity, reduced employee satisfaction and happiness, and physical ailments. The problem is exacerbated by periods of continuous inactivity. Technology that decreases continuous physical inactivity in the workplace is needed.

Current practices include:


• Setting mobile devices for escalating reminders, but people have to remember to set them, and they are unlikely to do this for physical activity reminders


• Using mobile device applications for exercise to detect movement using built-in accelerometers. The disclosed implementation of accelerometer movement is similar to this approach.

The core idea of the invention is a method to detect when a user is moving (i.e., by the shaking of their mobile device). If the user is not moving, then device alerts them (e.g., buzzing). If they still do not move, then the device alerts them at a higher level (e.g., increased buzzing). Movement is detecting through the internal physical acceleration sensor on the mobile device. Buzzing can be done with the internal vibration motor on the device. These components are common on smart phones.

The invention is a system and method for escalating alerts to user about their inactivity consisting of the steps of:


1. Collecting data from a movement sensor over a first period of time

2. Determining if said sensor data constitutes inactivity of a user over a first period, using a movement sensor in proximity to said user. Inactivity is defined as less than a minimum amount of movement over a first calculated period using said sensor data.

3. Sending a first alert to the user regarding said inactivity only if a first minimum amount of movement is not detected in the first period

4. Collecting a second sensor data from a movement sensor over a second period of time

5. Determining if said second sensor data constitutes continued inactivity of a user over a second period following the first period, using a movement sensor in proximity to said user. Inactivity is defined as less than a minimum amount of movement over a second period calculated from said second sensor data.

6. Sending a second alert to the user regarding continued inactivity only if a second minimum number of walking steps is not detected in the...