I find it interesting that the hula hoop has been repurposed in so many ways since its inception; it’s been moved from a sport to toy to an adult’s fitness tool with very little change over the years. Though discussion is primarily about the fine technical details for ‘correct’ hula hooping, the prevalent details is that the hoop itself in its form has primarily changed in material with very little modification.
As a toy, it has had incredible longevity. There is emphasis placed by Internicola on the portability of the hula hoop: its size makes it relatively easy to transport, and therefore has contributed to its long-term success. My question, then, is how to change the hula hoop without affecting this aspect.
Exercise routines with the hula hoop typically include “hooping for the wrists, hands, shoulders, legs, hips and waists”, according to Internicola’s article. One way we could possibly preserve the portability is to make a modular hula hoop that can be broken and reformed into smaller hoops for the wrists and legs.
Because movement associated with hula hoops is so rhythmic, I want to see if it is possible to incorporate either a small battery or solar powered bluetooth speaker that can detect the number of rotations per minute and play a song that matches the rhythm accordingly, either from the internet or a predownloaded music selection to enhance play and exercise with the hoop. The hoop would be weighted accordingly to accommodate the slight lopsidedness caused be the speaker. Perhaps instead of simply weighting the hoop all around, LED lights could help add balance to the hoop as well as increased display of musicality to the hoop.
Simply adding the lights to respond to the beats per minute might be enough to transform the hula hoop from a toy into a new raving tool, similar to glove lights or the act of glowsticking and ultimately incorporating it into EDM culture.