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exercise incentive device

video/data cables activated by exercise
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I personally have an exercise machine that exists only to make me feel guilty for not using it. I think many, many people do. The problem with home exercise machines is that there are *so* many more entertaining things to do around the house than ride the stationary bike/rowing machine/what have you. We are a fat, lazy and easily distracted nation. We need some sort of draconian impetus to use the exercise stuff. So my idea is, y'know how lots of computer manufacturers are pushing the PC as the "digital hub" for all your other stuff? Forget the PC -- make the exercise machine the "digital hub".

More specifically, the idea is this: a certain amount of exercise on the machine "earns" you a certain amount of time using your consumer electronics. The exercise machine has a "smart card" in it, and when you begin exercising, you insert your smart card into the machine and go for a certain amount of time/reps/what have you. This "earns" you time on the smart card. You then finish up, pull out your "charged up" smart card and go over to your special smart card reader which is hard wired into an ethernet cable, RCA cable, USB cable, etc. The cable is a totally "dead" cable until the smart card is read, then after that it's activated for a certain limited amount of time.

Obviously, for this plan to work, the user would need to get rid of all other cables in their house. Can anyone think of any huge holes in this idea, and/or other applications?

~Jeff

jhobbs, May 17 2001

An alternative approach. http://www.nytimes....hnology/31GEE1.html
'Neil Nusbaum has an unusual prescription for increasing the fitness of children: they should play more video games. But while they play, says Mr. Nusbaum, the president of Hollywood Engineering, they should be pedaling stationary bicycles that his company has modified to act as controllers for Sony PlayStations.' [angel, May 17 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       hmm...does it have some manner of override? What if you need to use something for education/business purposes? What if you lose the card?
Mayhaps you could have adapter-requisite devices powered by the machine. It wouldn't work well for anything high-load (I've tried this with a 60W light bulb. Didn't work well), but a TV antenna or a cd player may be feasible.
I'd like the video game hardware people to reintroduce something like the NES PowerPad. This device was a big mat with a 4x4 grid of dots, which you "pressed" by stepping on them. It was only used for half a dozen games, but among them was a foot-racing sim.
nick_n_uit, May 18 2001
  

       Why not have your entertainment equipment powered by a generator operated by your exercise apparatus?
angel, May 18 2001
  

       ravenswood: "It's a Crisis Inducer. I'll set it for mark 9, and... hurry, they're after us!"
centauri, May 22 2001
  

       Stare at fat americans for 10 minutes and you suddenly start excersising daily.
CasaLoco, May 23 2001
  

       What if when you purchase the device, you have to give the manufacturer a credit card number, and if you don't use the machine within a certain amount of time, the manufacturer starts withdrawing money from your account? It would work for me...
nathandrea, Jul 17 2001
  

       //We are a fat, lazy and easily distracted nation// I'm sorry, who's that? It's the internet you know, it's not one nation. I have a slight suspicion I'm in a different nation from you. I'm a short slim female. I exercise voluntarily. And on the days I can't get there, I just eat vegetables. You know, those things that aren't burgers. You may be in a fat, lazy and easily distracted nation but I'm in a muscular, active and fully attentive office. We watch Jerry Springer for our exercise incentives.
lewisgirl, Jul 17 2001
  

       you go, lewisgirl! ok, this place is full of fat lazy *males* (gets glared at) before logging onto the internet, i have to do 500 jumping jacks and drink 20 oz of water. but i would like to save electricity bills by plugging th elliptical to a generato
dingbats247, Aug 13 2002
  

       the user would just not feel like exercising one day and jury rig the thing.
Voice, Dec 29 2005
  

       555 timer IC with the reset switch hooked to a mercury tilt switch and output run to a relay. Set the sucker to time out in five seconds. Attach switch to moving part on exercise equipment. Run video through relay. Done this before? Oh, maybe...
humanbean, Dec 30 2005
  
      
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