Jill Fehrenbacher

VIDEO GAME EXERCISE BIKES

by , 06/02/05

Jill Fehrenbacher, Cyclescore, Videogame exercise bike, power generating exercise equipment

Here’s something I saw quite a while ago at a consumer electronics show, but I thought it deserved a mention on Inhabitat ? mainly because its such a great idea to merge two disparate home electronics devices into a united function. MIT engineering students have combined exercise equipment with video games in a project called Cyclescore. If you are going to peddle away on an exercise bike inside your house, you might as well be getting a mental workout as well, right? In Cyclescore’s creation, the motion of your peddling powers the videogame, so you have an incentive to work hard on your workout. There are game controllers in both the peddles and the handle bars. I think this idea is great because it combines the best elements of physical activity with the mental stimulation of video game playing. With the potential of hybrid devices like this, no longer does gaming have to mean sitting motionless for hours at a time, and going to the gym doesn’t have to be so boring.

The game’s creators originally made the video game about bike riding and then decided that this was too literal. The latest prototype (which I got to try out) incorporates an Atari-style alien shooting game.

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3 Comments

  1. mike March 11, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    do you think this bike would be beneficial in schools? Get kids to pedal while playing. Could you give me the name of the company and how I could get in touch with them?

    thank you

    MIke

  2. Karl June 4, 2005 at 9:34 pm

    Take a look at Nintendo’s power pad, or more recently Dance Dance Revolution. We keep seeing this concept of activity associated with video games every couple of years, yet it has not taken off. Why? It’s a great idea, but I believe that this cycle technology isn’t being developed and marketed correctly. First of all, of the various cycle/game combos that I have tried, none of the games have either been graphically uninteresting or engrossing enough to warrant repeated play. Galaga was great in its day, but would you want to pay (in exercise) to play it?

    A more successful route may be to try to tap into the Gym market. Take a note from current arcades and racing sims, perhaps linked bicycles with a game that everyone can compete on that tests ones skill and athletic ability? That would be interesting to me as most gyms are pretty mind-numbingly boring.

  3. Martti June 3, 2005 at 11:44 am

    Talking about reCYCLING! (ahem, sorry!) ;)

    This idea has been around for quite some time now, and there are plenty of production models.

    Tacx have had these a number of years, at about $700 for the trainer, excluding the bike, it’s altogether too expensive for me, alas, but I would give anything to try one out:
    http://www.tacx.com/html/index.php?pageid=104
    (Click “VR Trainers” )

    Also, their new Fortius trainer takes the power you generate whilst pedalling and feeds it back into your home to power your house. Now that’s recycling!

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