With its innovative controllers, the Nintendo Wii has already demonstrated some possibilities for combining exercise equipment with computers. The Nintendo Wii Balance Board measures a person’s center of balance and allows games to gauge the effectiveness of some exercises. The Nintendo Wiimote can be used to determine the location and acceleration of a person’s hand. However, Nintendo’s controllers are for entertainment and are not targeted to serious athletes. A lot more innovation can be done in this field.
Disclaimer: In this article, I discuss my own opinions and observations on health topics. I am not a doctor. The information here is only observations and ideas, not medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes that might affect your health.
Imagine a recombinant bike under your desk that is connected to your computer by USB. You can pedal as you work on your computer. It can also serve as an input device. Imagine playing video games where the faster you pedal, the more power your character has, the faster she runs, or the faster her attacks are.
Wireless technology can be used to collect and analyze data from exercise equipment. This aspect is already being explored by devices such as Nike+iPod and FitBit. Gyms and exercise equipment manufacturers can take this idea to the next level by collecting data from the exercise equipment and making it available to users for analysis from the Internet.
Another idea along these lines is to generate electricity from exercise equipment. Millions of pounds are no doubt being moved every day in gyms across the country. That translates to a lot of energy being generated and wasted. Perhaps this energy can be harnessed and stored in batteries in the gym or used to power the lighting and air conditioning in the gyms.