Gadget Locks Down Your Computer Until You Ride Your Bike

Sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time is shockingly easy to do, even when you only mean to sit down for a few minutes to check email. People who find themselves spending a little too much time staring at a monitor and not enough time moving around in the real world could really benefit from the Personal Energy Orb, or PEO. The PEO is a student project from Janko Hofmann and Fabian Pammer at the University of Munich, designed to create a better balance between computer usage and physical activity.

The small orb fits onto your bike and keeps track of the distance you go on your bike, translating those miles into computer time. When you get home and attach the orb to your computer, it works by controlling the speed of your mouse. When it’s fully charged your mouse moves normally, but as it starts to lose its charge it slows the mouse movement down. Eventually, it turns the speed all the way down, making it so incredibly annoying to use your mouse that you just don’t want to do it anymore.

In order for the PEO to work, the user has to be pretty committed to the idea of a healthier lifestyle. It could be a very helpful tool for people who don’t realize just how long they spend at the computer every day. But for those of us who sit at a computer all day for work, it would be a huge pain to run out of juice right in the middle of an important bit of work. Thankfully, the device would also work on a stationary bike. Bike workstations, here we come!

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See more in Computers or under Gadgets. August, 2012.