3D Printing Phone Case Orbs to Bend Light as a Geospatial Fitness Incentive

Faculty Advisor

Sage Arbor Ph.D

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Medicine and Health Sciences


A smartphone conveying gameplay movement instructions via encasement in a glowing football was designed to increase fitness and reduce obesity. While smartphone geolocation apps have flourished, people's ability to interact with them in high speed and velocity activities remains limited due to their form factor and need for significant visual attention. Specifically, a standardized smartphone grid display to convey movement instructions was designed, along with smartphone “orb” cases which were 3D printed to increase velocity of movement in geospatial games for use by K-12 grade students. Fitting a variety of different smartphones, the 3D printed case is being tested to employ an array of tubes that bend at specific angles (0-90 degrees) which emit light from the screen of the phone, allowing for directionality while using a geospatial app. Multiple paints were tested to maximize light exiting from the far end of the tube, as well as to determine the optimal angle for light emittance. Light intensity emitted from 3D printed and store bought tubes was measured using, white, black, and chrome paints, as well as a titration of reflective beads in white paint. The results indicated that chrome paint allowed for the highest amount of light emittance compared to other paints with up to a 75 degree bend being tolerated. The case, as well as future developed geospatial smartphone applications, would allow new ways for students and individuals to exercise and compete with others and will help combat the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle through socially incentivized games, such as tag, scavenger hunts, or capture the flag.


Copyright 2018 all authors

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