Discus throwing outdoors provides the coach and athlete with direct feedback on the performance in the form of a final distance. Even by eye this can intuitively be judged. When switching to indoor training come winter, this intuitive measure is taken away as the athletes throw into a net suspended 5–8 meters in front of them. The coach believes this lack of feedback is the reason for the drop in performance over the winter. This project’s aim was to develop a training solution that can measure the relevant variables of a discus throw and compute the final distance using a theoretical model. A functional prototype was built that can track the position of the discus in 3D with an accuracy of 2,5 mm. Concurrently, an Android app was developed to receive and process the data coming from the discus and calculate a predicted final distance of an indoor throw.
This is an example of a project that clearly stems from a user need (the desire for an indoor throwing performance figure) and successfully translates that, through many iterations and technologies, into a working prototype, theoretical model and app, showcasing how real-world products can be augmented by combining them with the digital realm. It also presents a mix of embodiment design, research, physics models, digital design and prototyping. This means it is a prime example of how research and technology in both the physical and digital domain can come together to create products that are more than the sum of their parts.