An engineering student from the Dublin Institute of Technology has created a television system attached to an indoor stationary trainer bike that pauses the TV pictures if you pedal too slowly.
Ronan Byrne’s ‘Cycflix’ system uses a hacked static training bike and a computer running TV streaming service Netflix. The idea is: if you slack off from your training effort, then you don’t get to watch your favourite TV show. As soon as you pedal back up to speed, the show restarts.
Byrne said that he originally came up with the idea to test his programming skills, but his online video of the system in action has generated a lot of interest and it could have some commercial potential.
The system allows you to select the programme you want to watch, then you enter the level of effort you wish to achieve on the bike and for how long. The system does the rest to keep you motivated.
For those interested in how it works, or perhaps creating their own version, full details are available online.
Byrne’s prototype Cycflix system seems to work well judging by the video, although he is trying to stop the temptation of adding more and more features.
“There is, of course, a lot of extras I could put in this such as stopping the user unpausing Netflix, adding sound when switching rounds, saving workout details and a few others,” wrote Byrne on the instructables.com website.
“But if I kept adding these features, the project would never be ‘done’ and right now it has enough functionality for me… and after all, it was to help me learn some Python and maybe (a big maybe) get me using the exercise bike.”