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Games Controlled By An Exercise Bike 323

Posted by Hemos
from the no-more-excues-fat-butt dept.
Fidigit writes "I know that most people reading this won't be _that_ interested in exercise, but given there's tech with it ... What do you think about computer games controlled by an exercise bike in your house? It sounds crazy, but it might just work." Update: 01/14 00:14 GMT by T : An anonymous reader points to another example of the same concept.
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Games Controlled By An Exercise Bike

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  • stay lazy playing video games or burn calories? The choice was never more easy than now.
  • Games via the ol excercise bike have been around well over 15 years. Granted, I'm not sure there was ever a mass market product, but it's been done. Nobody cared.

    Know what would work? The 'Dance Revolution' game. (I apologize, the name escapes me...) That's already out and in stores. I think I could stand to exercise that way. Riding a bike, unless I'm actually going somewhere, is not fun.
    • It's called DDR... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tidan (541596)
      It's calld Dance Dance Revolution or DDR for short. Seems to be a growingly popular thing at college, as there are crazy people that form clubs and hold weekly meetings.

      Read more about it here [ddrfreak.com].

      -Bryan

    • by L-Train8 (70991) <[Matthew_Hawk] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:01PM (#5076812) Homepage Journal
      How about Namco's PropCycle [coinopexpress.com], where you flew this pedal powered ultra-light thing and popped balloons. It came out circa 1995.

      Or Downhill Bikers [klov.com]? I could see a row of these at the gym.
      • Prop Cycle, which came out under a couple of other names too, was my favorite excercise game. I used to play it a lot at the local arcade. Much more fun than any other excercise I have gotten. By far the best arcade game with serious excercise involved. Too bad it didnt include a multiplayer mode, deathmatch (with little guns on the cycle) would have been amazing fun.
  • Paperboy! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ribo99 (71160) on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:51PM (#5076713) Homepage Journal
    Only if the game is Paperboy [yesterdayland.com].
  • Not news (Score:5, Informative)

    by OldMiner (589872) on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:52PM (#5076720) Journal

    This has been done several times before. For instance, there is this SNES/Sega/PC/whatever else you want bike [hypermax.com] which is basically a fancy looking controller and then there's this SNES specific bike, the Life Cycle [fitego.com] which I recall being issues in some back issue of Nintendo Power. I think there was even a Pacman-esque game that was supposed to go with it.

    • Re:Not news (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mojogojo (577421) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:17PM (#5076917) Homepage
      I don't think anybody has done it "right" yet. I've been waiting and watching... for some sort of contraption that you could place your own bike on which could vary the resistance based on feedback from game (i.e. if you are going up hill, then it should be harder to pedal, etc). And all the proper controls easily mountable/dismountable from handlebars...

      If someone made a quality piece of equipment that could enhance excercising indoors on a trainer, then that would definately be something - for the off-season.

      • Why just off-season? I think there is a huge hidden market of those who will excersise if it is more fun but won't be found in a gym or on a beach because they think they're too fat/skinny/ugly/whatever. It's a huge market to tap into, much bigger than the "6 minutes abs" thingies. It just has to be done right, like you say.
      • Re:Not news (Score:3, Informative)

        by Voytek (15888)
        You haven't heard of computrainer [computrainer.com]?

        I personnaly use a fluid trainer and spinervals videos [spinervals.com].
    • Re:Not news (Score:4, Informative)

      by yo303 (558777) on Monday January 13, 2003 @09:05PM (#5077232)
      I wrote part of the SNES software [retrogames.com] for the LifeCycle when I worked at Radical Entertainment [radical.ca].

      The Exertainment System is the first truly interactive system that combines aerobic exercise and video entertainment. It consists of a Lifecycle 3500 aerobic trainer, one of the world's most popular computerized exercise bikes, and a Super NES, the world's most popular 16-bit video game system.

      While riding on your Lifecycle 3500, you can use the system to monitor your biking activities (rpm, distance, calories, etc.) or set up a long-term fitness program in the "Program Manager". You can also choose to participate in the game "Mountain Bike Rally". Choose from several riders, several terrains, and several different bikes to have a truly interactive experience.

      It didn't sell very well, but mostly because it wasn't marketed properly. You still see the systems in a some fitness clubs (if you do, enter your name as "ronaye" to see an easter egg picture of my girlfriend at the time.)

      The new system in the article is multiplayer, which should make it a little more fun. It didn't seem to have any feedback to make the pedalling harder, however. That is essential to making the exercise interactive.

      I think systems like this will take off, once they're done right. I mean, plain exercise bikes are already a substitute for real biking, and those are accepted now. "Virtual" exercising systems are just trying to be a step closer to reality.

      yo.

      • Re:Not news (Score:3, Informative)

        by John Harrison (223649)
        I actually purchased a LifeCycle and began to reverse engineer it. I figured out the signals coming from the alternator control board but I don't have the EE type knowldge that I need to make a serial port controlled device to send signals to the control board.

        Anyhow, once you have such a device you could do all sorts of things. Making the pedalling harder would be very simple. My initial plan was to hook it up to the open source version of TuxRacer and have it get harder when you go uphill. A simple version of a MarioKart type game could also be fun on multi-player. The interesting think is that if you had a control device it would be very easy to retrofi any existing LifeCycle to work with such a system.

        Imagine a gym in which you can "race" against the person next to you or against a person across the country.

  • Nothing new... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sjehay (83181) on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:52PM (#5076722) Homepage
    See here [cateye.com] for a commercially-available product for interfacing turbo trainers and Playstation (2)s that has been around for a while...
  • Nintendo mats? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_machine (168692) <machine&tietsort,org> on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:52PM (#5076723) Homepage
    Does anyone remember those mats that you could use on Nintendo with games like Track and Field? I had one of those as a child. It seemed like the same good idea that this bike is.... until the second minute of playing the game. Then, it was more work then fun and my friends and I quickly resorted to using our fists instead of our feet. By the second day, the entire mat was stored in the closet never to see the light again.


    I think this Reebok bike will become a clothes hanger just like any other exercise bike... unless they figure out how to require it for GTA Vice City play.

    • by unicron (20286) <<unicron> <at> <thcnet.net>> on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:55PM (#5076760) Homepage
      You aren't a gamer until you've dropped to your knees and pounded the living shit out a of nintendo power pad. We used to quickly stand up and do knee-drops for the log hurdles. Good times.
      • "You aren't a gamer until you've dropped to your knees and pounded the living shit out a of nintendo power pad. We used to quickly stand up and do knee-drops for the log hurdles. Good times."

        Ever let your friend's little brothers play, then yank it out from under them? Heh.
      • by madcow_ucsb (222054) <slashdot2@s a n k s . net> on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:20PM (#5076938)
        lol, I always liked how on the long-jump you could run, then just step off and wait behind the mat till you hopped back on to stick the insane landing...
    • Does anyone remember those mats that you could use on Nintendo with games like Track and Field?

      Called the Power Pad.

      I really ought to figure out how to work with NES hardware and the Power Pad so I can port DDR to the NES.

  • So all the overweight types who claim they have no time nor desire for exercise will have a motivational shift? Will the next generation of geeks be in shape and well-desired by women? And I thought this was a sign of the apocalypse...
  • At You Local Gym (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Syris (129850)
    I've seen dedicated game/excersize equipment at some upscale gyms for years.

    Even cooler: an excersice bike with an internet terminal. There's nothing like burning calories while reading /.

    • How about this: a bike, stair stepper or tread mill is hooked up to a broadband connection. The amount of bandwidth that you get is in direct proportion to the exercise you put in. The faster you go the faster the download goes. If this had been around during the Napster years, I would weigh about 70 pounds less.
  • by syphoon (619506) on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:53PM (#5076739)
    Back in the Net Bubble, something similar was installed at a gym in my city. Two bikes were rigged up so that you'd have to maintain a speed above a certain threshold. Except it didn't power games, but just a plain old browser. The only problem was that the threshold was too high, and as soon as you were able to get a page, you'd be moving too fast to read or use it at all, and as soon as you slowed to reach for the keyboard and type, the screen would go blank again.
    • I went to a gym that had them hooked up to TV's, which I thought was much better, and the threshold was based on what sort of routine you pick. Also, you had a remote right there, and headphones so that no one else would steal the fruits of your biking. I think they had treadmills that were hooked up to the same concept.
  • DDR maybe? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Telastyn (206146) on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:54PM (#5076746)
    Peh, why not play DDR or something similar? Alot more challenging, and alot better workout. Don't like the high impact? Why not try PPP [redoctane.com]? Like ddr, only with hand waving and arm movements rather than alot of stomping.
    • PPP, what an amazing game.

      The only problem is that:
      1) I strained my back by playing to intensively,
      2) It has easily taken $40 away from me, and
      3) The only PPP machine close to me is in Ann Arbor MI, and is about 1 hr away from where I live.

      PPP is much better than ddr, because you use your arms, and not your feet. (I have no sense of balance, and would fall and lose while playing DDR)
  • by Space Coyote (413320) on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:54PM (#5076752) Homepage
    A guy I used to work with (word up, Glen) put sometihng like this together wihle he was doing a master's in CS here at UNB. He rigged up his exercise bike so that as he pedalled it would move him forward and backwards, and he just has a mouse by the handlebars to take care of any other input (turning, shooting, etc)

    Definitly the best use of an exercise bike I've ever heard of, but I still prefer the kind that you can use as transportation.
  • by rochlin (248444) on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:54PM (#5076755) Homepage
    I wrote a game in 1989 for a Mac 512. A racing game that pitted your bike against Lemond and a grey lobster. The biggest hangup: I measured my speed by attaching my MOUSE to the flywheel on the exercise bike. I have to admit it did reduce my mouse lifespan by a couple years :)
  • by andres32a (448314) on Monday January 13, 2003 @07:55PM (#5076765) Homepage
    I have been using the http://www.exertris.com/>Exertris [slashdot.org] for over a year know... Its Great. I personally find exercise quite boring but this does help me get through. The problem is that the number of games are limited.
    You can take a tour at the website to see if one is right for you...
    • FitCentric [fitcentric.com] has been making Internet racing products since 1996.

      CSA/ESSCO made an interface device with 5 PC games quite some time ago. It was a simple photoeye/reflector beam device with two button pads to strap to handlebars. It could be used with any equipment by aiming the light beam at any moving part, as the rate of pulses was all that was was needed for controlling the speed.
      Oh, I see there is one on eBay [ebay.com] now.

  • I do not understand how this is remotely interesting. I had a gym membership (because of my wife, not because I wanted to join) and they had a whole bank of cycling machines with different "games" setup.

    Granted, I only tried one (some scenic thing biking around and racing others) but there were a couple others that I am sure were more "interactive".

    This was a year or so after the birth of my daughter, which would make this FIVE YEARS AGO.

    Is the poster of this story trying to stereotype the typical /. user as one who has never seen a gym before???

  • ...to frag that bastard! Unreal biker 2004!
  • I remembered seeing this type of thing at Bush Gardens awhile back in some sort of technology demonstration. This isn't really a new idea.

    Check out this article [hypermax.com] for an example from 1995. For those of you who don't get out much, that's like 8 years ago.

    I still think the idea is great, and that anything that can potentially better motivate fat americans to get their lazy butts in motion is a positive thing. It's just up to the marketing department to really get these things distributed to the masses.

    -Bryan

  • by Samir Gupta (623651) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:00PM (#5076806) Homepage
    I'm sure you all know what Dance Dance Revolution is, the game that combines a dance pad with arrows on the screen that you dance to -- it's spread like wildfire, and even though it's only available for a competitor's platforms, I secretly admit to playing it to keep myself in shape. :) Some of you may also remember the old Nintendo Power Pad as well, even.

    Anyhow, Nintendo is taking the integration of physical activity with video games to a whole new level... we're researching motion tracking in 3-D using purely computer vision techniques, and using no sensors worn on the body, like traditional mocap techniques require.

    We've got some interesting preliminary prototypes of this technology, such as Swing Swing Revolution, like DDR, except you have to do swing moves, not merely hit the arrows with your feet, and Kung Fu Master, a remake of the venerable NES game, where you guessed it, need to do real punching and kicking.

    We look forward to commercializing this and making Nintendo the first and foremost choice of overweight geeks everywhere!
    • we're researching motion tracking in 3-D using purely computer vision techniques, and using no sensors worn on the body, like traditional mocap techniques require.

      I am curious why you are spending time trying to develop motion tracking without using motion-capture sensors. I would guess that trying to develop a computer vision algorithm that can determine what the hell a fast-moving gamer is doing in real time and then converting that into inputs would be a mighty challenging problem. Is there some drawback to using traditional motion-capture approaches? I would think your research dollars would be more wisely spent by leverging off existing technology. Is the computer vision approach going to get confused if the gamer plays in a "noisy" environment like complex wallpaper and lots of furnature? Would the gamer be allowed to wear all black or would that also confuse the computer vision? I would think that requiring gamers to wear a few sensors wouldn't be that big of a problem. Or are the games going to be frantic that there's a danger of the sensors actually falling (or flying) off the gamer when s/he performs a fast move?

      Just curious. Sounds interesting but it also sounds like it might take many years before it comes to market.

      GMD

    • I'm sure you all know what Dance Dance Revolution is

      Yeah. It's that knockoff of Nintendo's own Dance Aerobics for the NES.

      All Nintendo needs to do to compete with Konami's DDR for Sony's hardware is re-introduce the Power Pad [everything2.com], adapt it to the GCN's joybus, rotate it 90 degrees anticlockwise, and publish "Mario Dance Party".

  • I'd love to have a "recumbent" stationary bike that could fit partially under my computer desk. It'd be great to be able to pedal while I browsed the web. I would finally get exercise while playing around on the computer (wouldn't have to jog as much ;-)).

    Are the game bikes recumbent? It doesn't seem like it. I think it would be easier to integrate them into the rest of your gaming environment if they were.

    --naked [slashdot.org]

  • For a long while I've day-dreamed of a workstation with an integrated recubant exercise bike. Not for serious cross-training necessarily, but enough to keep active and burn a few calories while sitting endless hours in front of the computer. It would have to be sturdy enough not to shake with mild exertion. I'm sure it's doable and I'm sure there's more than just me that could benefit from such a device!
  • Better idea (Score:4, Funny)

    by lostboy2 (194153) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:01PM (#5076815)
    How about a video game controlled by eating donuts?

    Diabelch III, brought to you by Donutech. "Mmmm... Sprinkles..."

  • Prop Cycle (Score:3, Informative)

    by kisrael (134664) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:02PM (#5076820) Homepage
    I've always dreamed of a home port of Prop Cycle [coinopexpress.com]...kind of like N64 PilotWings that the guy mentioned. I like the idea of exploring, it seems like races are too dependent on wherever the computer decides to handicap you.
    • Re:Prop Cycle (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chmarr (18662)
      Prop Cycle was probably the first 'work hard' video game I ever played. I thought it was great... and I was the only one that played decently in my groupoffriends: I bicycle a lot, and have the stamina for it :)
  • by Nemus (639101) <astarchman@hotmail.com> on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:02PM (#5076823) Journal
    That this shit does not SELL!!!!

    What is this, like, the tenth company thats tried to create a market for these things? People don't want em in numbers large enough to make neough money off of it.Yu'd think someon would have figured the whole lack of interest thing by now. Go away, and take your stolen idea with ya.

  • I don't comment on speling errors or typos, but consistently using peddle for pedal really got on my nerves: unless the game the guy played was 'how to peddle a pedal videogame to the slashdot crowd' I do believe he had them all wrong.

    Anyways for a more sophisticated 'game' check out the computrainer, pricey but a lot of pros swear by it.

    from m-w.com (snipped)

    One entry found for peddle.
    Main Entry: peddle
    Pronunciation: 'pe-d&l
    1 : to sell or offer for sale from place to place : HAWK; broadly : SELL
    2 : to deal out or seek to disseminate

    Main Entry: pedal
    Pronunciation: 'pe-d&l

    Function: noun
    1 : a lever pressed by the foot in the playing of a musical instrument (as an organ or piano)
    2 : a foot lever or treadle by which a part is activated in a mechanism

    Function: verb
    intransitive senses
    1 : to ride a bicycle
    2 : to use or work a pedal
    transitive senses : to work the pedals of
  • Somehow I ended up getting one as a christmas present each year, so I'd use the bike while playing with my Super Nintendo. I'd play for hours and burn off plenty of calories in the process.

    Initially I found that I'd associate activity on the screen with my bike - I noticed that when I would get into a tight spot in a game I found myself pedalling a lot faster, as if it would help.

    Anyway.... it eventually broke from overuse, most exercise gear isn't designed to do much more than sit in a closet after a month.
  • by fiesty (525673)
    I don't know most people would just be lazy about it. But instead of seeing it as some extra work to do while playing video games, think of it as adding a touch of fun to Exorcizing. Then it might sell.
  • I remember seeing this as long ago as the C-64 days. There were a bunch of heartrate and speed sensors that went into a cartridge that you popped behind the computer. So it's not that new an idea; altough perhaps with the kind of games we have now it'd be more popular.
  • In my previous life I worked for a dotcom (er, how many times has that been typed out on slashdot...) and one of our main "features" was the exclusive online rights to a cyber racing software that allowed people to hook up their exercise bikes to their computers and compete against other people over their lans or the internet. Sounds great, right?

    Well, the company who was developing the software/technology to do this was pretty much clueless. They developed a custom 3D engine that looked worst than the original Doom (no 3d hardware, just software) with some ugly, ugly courses. Crashes were common and nobody ever used the bikes in our gym (we had a full gym for employees to use)

    The hardware had problems too. You had to hook up magnets to your wheels and run wires from the bike to the computer to let it know how fast you were peddling... but the problem was that a lot of bikes weren't easily adaptable and you would have to pretty much hack the hardware to get it on the bike... and then the rotation speed would be off during races, etc. A memorable instance was a demonstration on Good Day LA between the 3 hosts - the 2 chicks and the old guy... well, they were racing and one of the hosts was going like 10x faster than everybody else... lapping the other hosts because of the hardware related problem. All on live TV - It was funny ;)

    Funny thing is that my boss had told me about this new tech they had been shown... using bikes for movement and plugging it into a PSX! He said they had been playing RoadRash. Over 18 months later it looks like they might have actually come out with the product.
  • I saw a "game" that connected to one of those sets of rollers that bike racers use to train indoors. The screen showed you where you were on a virtual course, and if you wanted you could race against Lemond in the Tour de France. The only problems were that it was incredibly expensive, and there was no connection between where you were on the course and the tension setting on the rollers.
  • Namco's "Prop Cycle" (Score:3, Informative)

    by ewhac (5844) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:13PM (#5076895) Homepage Journal

    One example of an arcade game employing a stationary bike was Prop Cycle [namcoarcade.com] from Namco. You flew a pedal-powered flying bicycle around, running into balloons and flying through hazards to score points.

    I thought it was whimsical and a lot of fun, but it never showed up at many arcades.

    Schwab

    • That's because games like this tend to make it into mostly-adult venues where alcohol is sold. Getting piss drunk then hopping on a machine that causes you to exert yourself (possibly more than your alcohol-numbed body can handle) tends to induce vomitting. I know cause I've seen idiots puke on the Prop Cycle. It isn't a pretty sight.
      • Propcycle could cause some people to puke just through pure motion sickness caused by the disparity between what's on the screen and what your innner ear is telling you.

        I saw this compounded on the ferry to Vancouver island in stormy weather. Imagine trying to play this on a rocking, rolling boat.

        Hello RRRRRrrrrrrrraaaaallphhhhhhhh....

  • by long_john_stewart_mi (549153) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:16PM (#5076910)
    They should make an RPG called "Body by Jake" [bodybyjake.com]. You control Jake as he goes from an overweight pimple-faced kid to an infomercial superstar, just like the real Jake. Along the way, you will have to:
    • Get Results Fast!
    • Listen Up to Muscle Up
    • Map the Muscles to Manhood
    Special features are also included, like charisma, in which you subtly brag about how much you bench, flex your manhood for the ladies, and start your workout WITHOUT ANY WARMUP!! Get "Body by Jake" today!
    • And of course, huge bonuses for making spastic movements and yelling at seemingly random moments. Jake's great, he almost scares you into buying his products! I wonder how long it takes his co-hosts to stop flinching when he yells and waves his hands in their faces.
  • Instead of a simple numeric readout of calories, why not allow the victi^H^H^H^Hexercise enthusiast to select the high-calorie food item of their choice, then as they work out, have a proportional piece of the food item consumed. You select a pizza/chocolate cake/french fries/nachos and as you burn up, say, 100 calories, you see 100 calories worth of the item vanish.
  • Reality is in much higher resolution than any computer game.

    • Those real SUVs that don't really want to share the road with you are WAAAY too high resolution. Seems like every day in the summer here some bike-riding hippie runs into some cell-phone-yacking soccer mom in a Maibatsu Monstrosity. The hippie inevitably loses...
  • by Dread_ed (260158) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:21PM (#5076943) Homepage
    I was thinking about this the other day while pondering a completely immersive VR environment.

    Applied to a, MMORPG this sort of idea could eventually lead to a skill advancement system based upon physical reaction time and endurance rather than mathematical formulas derived from levels and attributes. It could also enhance the gaming experience immensely!

    Furthermore, if you included exercise benefits, people could ALWAYS find the time to play their favorite game.

    More conservatively, using the human physiological responses to a gaming environment (excitement, endorphins, sustained concentration) could allow for intense exercise and fuel the desire to continue to exercise once the novelty has worn off.

    In other words, I think it is a *good thing*.
    • I can see the repetitive motion lawsuites allready being stacked up agenst the first person to release something like tihs.

    • Yeah, but how many geeks would be interested in playing an MMORPG where your ability to advance is based on physical ability and coordination? Isn't the reason so many geeks got into the business their inability to do that?
    • Speaking of which... why are VR helmets not yet (or perhaps no longer) with us? I had really high hopes for VR in a living room after playing with an SGI based system once in a museum in Chicago. Even though the thing had pretty crude graphics at the time it was still very immersive (at least I found it very immersive). Is VR having some extra strong effects on my brain that noone else experiences? I thought helmet based VR was the best thing since the invention of a video game but for some reason, 12 years on after I first tried it a decent VR helmet for an average gamer is still a pipe dream. Why?
  • Arcade.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by dimer0 (461593) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:25PM (#5076965)
    I know this story says *computer* games, but it appears some of the posters here haven't been to an arcade in a while..

    There is a downhill bike game now, which is way fun. You get done, you're hurting.

    Anyone ever see that two-person rafting game? .. That hurt too.

    The horse-racing game? .. 8 of those horses side by side... Way fun.

    The new motion-cap (I guess this is what you'd call them) games are WILD too -- there's this one that you stand in this one place and hold a gun - and to duck around corners to fire, well, you duck around a corner. If you need to drop to the floor to avoid gunfire, you drop to the floor. I didn't think it would be that much of exercise, but wow.

    At home - I've fallen in love with DDRMax on the PS2. I have two of the hard dance platforms now -- it's the most exercise (aerobic) I've gotten in a long time. When my friends come over - it's turned on automatically - huge party hit. Mix beer with it, it gets really fun.

    Ok - ramble stops now. I just love video games. :)

  • I think most people would enjoy just taking a regular bike and riding it outside more than some video game.
  • by Enonu (129798) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:41PM (#5077052)
    How about networking a series of exercise bikes to add the competition element to exercise? It'd be fun to have such a setup at my local gym/health spa. I know you're probably asking, "Well, why not simply race on real bicycles instead?" The answer is simple, convenience. The people and equipment are already setup, and I don't have to maintain a $1K+ street bicycle.

    Anybody know of anything similar setup around where they live?
  • This morning I spent some time on this "Liferower" at the local gym (dive) I go to. I rowed an awful lot in college to am used to real rowing machines (not this one). But this one, while it has no resistance, has a little (circa 1982) EGA-esk computer screen where I row against this "olympic" opponent. And every time you pull on the handle, the red of the monitor aligns and then disaligns. Crazy little thing. But I don't think these things are that new, in the end.

    Still, I'd trade it for a Concept 2 [concept2.com] any day.
  • by adpowers (153922) on Monday January 13, 2003 @08:43PM (#5077070)
    When I was staying in Phoenix (I believe), the hotel we were staying at had a fitness center. We checked it aout and they had two stationary bikes with TVs in front of them. You could use the bikes to explore the different maps. The graphics were very, very low quality (it was an old system), but it was 3D. It took me a while to realize it, but both were networked, so my brother and I raced. Another cool feature was that it had two fans built into the cabinet that would change speed depending on how fast you pedeled and would blow air on you to simulate wind. I thought it was very impressive and would be really cool if was updated. The fans were a great addition in my opinion.
  • While staying in Las Vegas (1998), in one of the hotel excersise rooms, the excercise bikes were linked in a race. Even had nintendo style joypads that allowed you to punch the rider next to you.
  • I remember reading about a unit that connected to the NES in Nintendo Power back in the day.
  • All geeks are going to turn into very fit health freaks.
    Being boring and dumb won't be synonym to being fit anymore.
  • FOR CHRIST'S SAKE: GO OUTSIDE

    First, we invent the video game system, so you can get the thrill of sports without moving. Then, we pair it with an exercise machine... and you have a very expensive, not as good version of a bicycle... whatever.
  • A better idea would be have the bike hooked to a generator instead of a wall outlet. Now you have to pay for your time playing by riding a bike. The more power your game consumes, the longer you'll have to ride to earn those precious moments. This will create a whole new generation of athletic nerds, the likes of which has never been known to man.
  • in the early 80`s Atari had plans for a "exercise-bike". Look at a picture:

    http://www.atarihq.com/othersec/puffer/puff521.j pg

    that was fora 5200 videogame, but Atari intended to make models from the VCS to the 400 and 800 computers.

    More info at http://www.atarihq.com/othersec/puffer/
  • I'll wait until they have one that has an auto-pedal feature.
  • Already did that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EvlPenguin (168738) on Monday January 13, 2003 @10:08PM (#5077651) Homepage
    It's too damn cold to run outside (being it is winter, and I live in frigid New York), so a few months ago I picked up a 1up Trainer [1upusa.com] which attaches to the rear wheel of my bike, in effect turning it into a stationary bike. However, it has the advantage of feeling like you're riding a real bike and not a stationary bike (which I never quite jived with).

    While it doesn't "control" a video game, it allows me to be right in front of my PS2 while pedaling. Hence, I can now play all those 100-hour RPGs and countless hours of Vice City while biking. The latter is especially fun, as you tend to pedal faster when there's a lot of tension going on in the game -- it gets the adrenaline pumping. I guess this is how I got to level 132 in Vigilante mode (the car flipped over and there was not another to be found... damnit!), and managed to pedal over 50 miles while doing it. Fun.

  • The Maryland Science Center had (may still even have) a bike that powered a generator which lit a few lightbulbs. There was a really simple closed circuit cam too. As you pedalled harder and faster, you lit the lights and the camera was able to discern more and more of your face.

    The idea was to teach you about power and electricity. Pretty cool when you're only 5-10 years old.
  • by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Monday January 13, 2003 @10:34PM (#5077789) Homepage
    Winter of 1997, I spent a lot of time in the gym at Ft. Carson, Colorado. They had these cycles hooked up to displays, and you could pedal around this little game world. You steered by shifting your weight left and right. It was sadly non-violent, but you could race or just explore. You could even go underwater, but it was a lot harder to pedal.

    I don't remember the brand of the cycles, but they were pretty cool.
  • by syphoon (619506) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:23PM (#5077991)
    A lan party of these type of games...

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