Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gamercize Gets Gamers Going (GZ Spin Trainer & GZ Family Fit) - Part Deux + WIBC

This is the follow-up post I promised about 12/10/08 Gamercize post -Gamercize Gets Gamers Going (GZ Spin Trainer & GZ Family Fit)

GZ Spin Trainer

GZ Family Fit

According to Richard, the GZ Spin Trainer is planned to sell for $999 US and GZ Family Fit (3-in-1 Recumbent, Rower, and Gamercize) around $1399 US.

As suspected, gaming while rowing on the GZ Family Fit will not be on the final production model because of the difficulty of having to hold the controller and the rowing handles. Although as I start to think of it:

WIBC (Wouldn't It Be Cool) - EXERGAME IDEA #3 ... imagine playing a game where you have to row to a cadence and collect special power up bonuses, and then after hitting 5 of these bonuses you or your and your sculling pals pick up that "2nd gear" or "2nd wind" and finish the race at a PB (Personal Best).

I could also see a link into a game like Tom Clancy's Endwar integration where as you row you are accumulating points based on the game play but you also have the ability to provide feedback and encouragement to your crew playing the same room or in a RPG or MMOPRG. By saying the right things at the right time can earn you more points which in turn might give your team a competitive advantage. In physical education, we prepare our students to teach in the three domains of learning (physical, affective and cognitive) and a game like this could certainly cover all of them.

Aside from using the Gamercize features on the GZ Family Fit machine, "the use as a rower and as a recumbent will extend the appeal to the entire family - gamer or not!"

WIBC (Wouldn't It Be Cool) Exergame Ideas #1 & 2 found here.

Previous Gamercize posts here, here, and here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Psyched About Zyked

Another great speaker from May's Games For Health Conference in Baltimore was Tom Söderlund with his Alpha version of Zyked. In its current version (internet and mobile service) it aims "to make sports and exercising more fun by adding gameplay and community features." I really think this area of "exergaming" will see the most growth in the near future as it requires less equipment and technology than any exergaming/interactive fitness/video game exercise gaming system.

Other ubiquitous computing platforms and applications have been spotted around the world, but most prominently in Mad 3G connected Scandanavia (Exergame -VTT, Positive Gaming - iDance, etc...
To find other Exergame Lab articles featured ubiquitous computing applications click here!

Another well known exergame is the combo Tamagotchi-like Fizzes project from the UK 's FutureLab - although there isn't a strong tie to ubiquitous computing the goal is to keep your virtual pet by staying active. With the number of games and platforms like this - in 2009 we will undoubtedly see at least another 5-10 similar products like the earlier featured:ME2, Jinsei Game Puchi (AKA - Game of Life) Pedometer, "Sportio - au Smart Sports Run & Walk, and miCoach.

Monday, December 15, 2008

GYM Concept Car

How does this look for the ulitmate environmentally friendly exercise machine = your next car! Yes, this is just a concept car by Da Feng, a design student from Coventry University, but let's think about it for a second. You get a workout, get to work, and create little pollution, that's the TRIFECTA. In case you were wondering, here is the workout gear incorporated into the proposed lightweight injection molded magnesium alloy chassis - step machine, rowing machine, bench press, pull up simulator and arm weights. If only it weren't in mu driveway right now.
[Via Gizmodo]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gamercize Gets Gamers Going (GZ Spin Trainer & GZ Family Fit)

With an EXCLUSIVE 1st look at GZ Spin Trainer and GZ Family Fit-3-in-1 Combo-Cycle-Rower, it looks as if Richard and company (Gamercize) have been busy. These pictures were taken at a School Sport Partnership Conference (SSPC '08) recently and from all accounts are some of the first images available on the web. These new lines will go on sale in the new year. I'll update on the price when I get clarification from Richard.

The full sized spin bike will join the existing range of portable stepper and cycle exercise machines that have proved hugely popular. The GZ Spin Trainer represents the highest end of exergaming fitness training and will be available for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.
The GZ Family Fit will be available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii and will also be fully compatible with all existing Gamercize products.

However GZ Family Fit (from what I understand) is a fully functional recumbent bike which should make it easier to peddle compared to the GZ Endurance Cycle which requires more of an elevated seated position. It is also a fully operational rowing machine, however I'm not sure how or if you could even play a game while rowing - now that would take talent. I will find out more details and let you know. That is if there's anybody out there reading this!

Previous Gamercize posts here, here, and here.

[Thanks Richard]

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dr.Awesome MicroSurgeon MD

From ngmoco:) comes the latest iPhone/iTouch game, which starts in motion my predication of 12 games over the next year and only means that I have to get in iPhone (or at least an iPod Touch) to try out all these games. Got to be in the know, no? For $1.99, you get to save your friends and family in your contact list from a deadly viruses. Save the Cheerleader, Save the World.

Not to be be outdone by a special "little-known fact" hidden in the iPod SDK recently released, allows you to use your iPhone/iPod Touch as a full-fledged TV game device.

[Via AppleInsider, }
And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

iCharge for iPhones & Club WATT

Seeing the sharp rise in sales of smartphones including the iPhone, it was only a matter of time before these battery-charging concept devices surface. First mentioned was the handgrip charger and now a swing charger with an added bonus of having your golf swing analyzed. I think we really should think of other ways to harness our own energy because now being physically active would be: 1) enjoyable, 2) energy saving (reduces carbon footprint), 3) money saving (electrical chargers), and even ....get this....4) healthy. The potential to harness kinetic energy into stored electrical energy is not new, and a while back there was a dance floor concept from the Netherlands (Sustainable Dance Club) that proposed using technology to store the energy created by the moving dancers in a night club.

This fall they just opened Club WATT in Rotterdam an this is how the Sustainable Dance Floor works:
The dance floor converts the movement of the dancing crowd into electricity and uses this power to change the appearance of the surface of the floor. For the first time the crowd becomes an energy source that can contribute to power a club. The movement of the clubbers on the dance floor is captured to generate electricity. This electricity is used to create interaction using LED lights and smart materials in the floor. The DJ and the clubbers will be challenged to reach the maximum energy level possible. Every person is able to produce 2-20 Watt, depending on people’s weight and activity.

Dance on, Swing on, just move my friends! It's all good!

[Via Ubergizmo & Gizmodo via petitinvention via Ecofriend via Gearfuse]

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

FlingPC (Not literally)

3DiJoy Corporation joins the party of Wii-like devices that incorporate accelerometers however their device (FlingPC) is PC-based (Bluetooth & USB) and comes with 10 games. On their main website, you can download 7 more games including Moove Cooking (a la DS version Cooking Mama, AGSNTBM's Cooking Mama: Cook Off, Cake Mania: In the Mix!, and Order Up!).

Punch-O-Meter (only with insurance)

I remember Punch-Out, the arcade version of the new iPhone game Punch-O-Meter. I remember pushing lots of quarters to try to hit the pad harder than your buddies. One guy demolished us and this earned the moniker "Eee San Joe" (139 in Chinese Mandarin) - he was never defeated and I'm pretty sure we have some old pictures to prove it. Regardless, I would hate to see people flinging their $300+ iPhones (not including data plans) around trying to out punch your friends.

I've posted before about the many mobile devices out there that are taking advantage of the onboard accelerometers including the drum stick KDDI phone, Sony Game Phone, iPhone, and iPod Touch. I predict at least another dozen iPhone apps coming out next year alone and more if you include the other mobile devices.

And here is the rest of it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Treadmill Bikes

Two recent posts that show how we're continuing the trend to bring the indoors outside (or is it the other way around), Treadmobil by Speedfit and the Treadmill Bike by Bicycle Forest. Not sure if either device will make it big, but it's great to see people following and acting out their wildest dreams. How boring would the world be without dreams and higher goals. Check out lots of other crazy inventions at Bicycle Forest's website including the recumbent rowing bike, kickbikes, Family Truckster and Couch Bike. Great imaginative stuff!

[Via Ubergizmo 1 & 2,]

On Speedfit's website, I also found this image of what looks to their non-motorized treadmill called SpeedBoard. They are demonstrating either a woman walking for therapeutic or rehabilitative reasons with the included harness.

Ball-IT to Health

Ball-IT OY, a Finnish-based maker of real-time wireless sensing solutions, has released some specs and has demo'd its new six-degrees of freedom (SDF) controller. As costs to produce motion sensing devices come down, we'll see more and more of these devices on the market.
Here’s the promising part: It allows you to rotate the ball along any mixture of the three axes, so that it can communicate with your computer or mobile phone screen while stationary. Additionally, you can move the ball up or down, left or right, or close to or away from the screen (see the graphic below). So when it’s used as a game controller, each one of these movements let the ball interact with a game in a different way — depending on how the game software developer chooses to interpret these movements in the game.
Other devices that boast 6DF sensors include Motus' Darwin and Sixense TrueMotion featured earlier. The author doubts the current version to make any big progress against the tidal wave known as AGSNTBM - "A game system not to be mentioned."
Ball-it’s dexterity is worth noting. I’m pretty sure something like it will emerge and become a big hit. Right now, though, in its current form, it’s too unintuitive. It can do so much, and is nifty in that way, but it’s almost as though it doesn’t do any one thing extremely well — it fails to demonstrate a “killer application,” and after all, who really wants to carry around a ball to communicate with their phone or TV?
Time will tell whether or not we can "Ball It" to a health.
[Via Venture Beat]

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