Tuesday, September 27, 2005

An Unsolicited Testimonial

Ian Holmes, Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley, likes my blog:
Games like Prop Cycle, Dance Dance Revolution and Mocap Boxing herald a new era of digital arcade entertainment where physical fitness is a byproduct of play. Products like Toysight (for Apple Mac's iSight webcam), along with fitness-oriented game controllers like Kilowatt Sport from Powergrid Fitness, have brought exercise games from the arcade to the desktop. Is this the future?

Glen Raphael at videogameworkout.com thinks so. His blog is devoted to exercise games; and I say more power to the man. Tactile user interfaces, and particularly games, seem like a great way to get fit...
Ian goes on to suggest an idea he's been mulling over:
Using the CSAFE protocol (a standard API for exercise machines: bikes, treadmills, elliptic trainers, et cetera) to make a custom keyboard for playing online RPGs like World of Warcraft. Think about it: in those games you spend ages trudging from location to location on the world map, holding down the "walk" key while your brain atrophies and your back and neck develop permanent kinks. Wouldn't it be relatively straightforward, and ultimately healthier, to use CSAFE's cmdGetSpeed command to make your elliptic trainer effectively press the walk key for you? That is, hook your keyboard up to your exercise machine, so that walking on the machine translated to walking in the game. Given the amount of effort NIH expends to fight obesity, this kind of thing really seems to make sense.
Sounds like a good summer project. Any Berkeley biomechanics students out there?

Share this:


Blogger Glen said...

A little searching finds several "connect a bike to a PC" projects, but I hadn't seen nexfit.com before - it looks like theirs is further along than most. I like their "see it in action!" video!

The BK-A6 and the BK-R3 are $2300 and $1900 respectively, which is a little pricey. Hopefully I'll get to see them at CES this year.

9/27/2005 3:54 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home