Next Level Sports

Next Level Sports – Development and testing of experience-oriented mixed reality sporting and exercise offers in the Open Innovation Lab Arena Park

Due to their social integrative power and positive effects on health and well-being, sport and exercise are important areas of activity for municipal services of public interest. In Germany, the willingness to exercise sufficiently has decreased dramatically in recent years: According to DKV Report 2018, only 43 percent of Germans achieved the internationally recognized sufficient level of activity given by the World Health Organization. In 2010 there were 60 percent who still managed this mark.

The sports promotion of cities and municipalities have to tackle this development offensively and also tap the opportunities of digitization in order to counteract the trend towards a lack of exercise. Today integrated systems made of wearables, virtual or mixed reality, motion and fitness tracking technologies offer the opportunity to create completely new sporting challenges and activities. With these digital gadgets system solutions can be developed which enable various target groups to have immersive experiences that go well beyond traditional gaming experiences, sports and health-oriented forms of exercise. They also offer the opportunity to motivate the correct execution of movements or training plans and to be able to observe and analyze them much more precisely than hitherto.

This is where the project “Next Level Sports” comes in. Experience-oriented virtual, augmented and mixed reality sporting and exercise programmes are developed and tested in the Open Innovation Lab Arena Park. In this process the focus is on four user groups resp. application scenarios:

1.  Next Level Cross Sports: For achievement-oriented multisport athletes sports science based training concepts are transformed into a new type of gameplay that contains elements of various sports and disciplines.

2.  Next Level Health Prevention: In order to reach the majority of the population, which is less receptive to sport and exercise, the playful aspect as a means of exercise and coping with stress is paramount.

3.  Next Level Rehab: For the rehabilitation of people after serious illnesses, injuries or operations as well as for people with disabilities, physical activity offers are to be designed and technically implemented complementary to the previous treatments that additionally support and motivate mobilization.

4.  Next Level Youth Sports: The world of experience of young people in the field of computer games can productively be adapted to motivate them to perform movement therapy games. The "fun of the game" thus gradually leads to the "fun of movement", which can be practised as a future behavioural pattern.

In addition to the development of digital system solutions, Next Level Sports is intended to build up a community of athletes and developers for this new form of sport and health-oriented exercise in the region. The aim is to develop a business model in preparation for a business start-up or joint venture of established companies from the region. Perspectively, the project will also contribute to the development of a promising future field based on the special strengths of the Arena Park location in the overlapping area of digital, sports and health care industry, so that new jobs are created in the region.

Next Level Sports is a cooperation project between the Institute for Innovation Research and Management, the Computer Graphics Laboratory and the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory of the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, as well as the City of Gelsenkirchen and medicos.AufSchalke GmbH. It is supported by funds from the funding programme "Digital Model Municipalities in NRW".

Supported by:

Duration: October 2019 – Mai 2022


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