Embedding a crowd inside a relay baton: a case study in a non-competitive sporting activity

Franco Curmi, Maria Angela Ferrario, Jon Whittle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a digital relay baton that connects longdistance runners with distributed online spectators. The baton broadcasts athletes' live locative data to a social network and communicates back remote-crowd support through haptic and audible cheers. Our work takes an exploratory design approach to bring new insights into the design of real-time techno-mediated social support. The prototype was deployed during a 170-mile charity relay race across the UK with 13 participants, 261 on-line supporters, and gathered a total of 3, 153 'cheers'. We report on the insights collected during the design and deployment process and identify three fundamental design considerations: the degree of spectator expression that the design affords, the context applicability, and the data flow within the social network.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsCliff Lampe, m.c. schraefel
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2017 - Colorado Convention Center, Denver, United States of America
Duration: 6 May 201711 May 2017
Conference number: 35th
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3025453 (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2017
Abbreviated titleCHI 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Broadcast
  • Cheering
  • Relay baton
  • Relay race
  • Social networks
  • Social support
  • Spectators
  • Sports

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