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FLASHJUMP: Music-responsive and jump-move signaling jump rope

Bruce M. Tharp

Faculty
Designed to help address the domestic childhood obesity problem from the perspective of exercise, Flash-Jump is part toy and part exercise equipment. It is able to grow with children, continuing to challenge them with variable difficulty levels. Jumping rope can be fun by itself, but some kids may need extra incentive and excitement. Flash-Jump makes jumping more challenging for those who already find it interesting, but more importantly for those who are less inclined to jump, it leverages three aspects that are important to youth and adolescents’ lives: technology, their music, and their friends.

A 21st Century jump rope, its handles incorporate LED lights that signal to the user different jump moves (footwork, armwork, body rotation) as well as an adjustable pace/tempo of jumping. Incorporating inexpensive electronics, the lights can also respond to external music (from a radio/stereo), translating audio signature samples into different jump moves. The jump rope can be used by a solo jumper in public or private (if self-concious), but also in groups where jumpers read the lights of other jumpers, making the activity a social experience—leveraging socialization and/or competition.