This project is current my research for my Master Degree in Game Design and Development. and it is basically divided in two parts:
1 - The Hardware needed to make the research (Product)
Some key features of the hardware are (including the software for the bike itself):
Online user login, so user can play on any bike. Save User Performace History. API so game developers can create games for the bike. Custom store for bike games.
Track the position of the pedal and the handler. Track the "speed" of the bike. Track the Heart Rate of the user. Magnetic Break. Handler Buttons. Communication with other bikes for multiplayer.
Adjustable game difficulty based on the user performace and user max Heart Rate. Adjustable Bike Resistance at game runtime.
2 - The Research
As the research develops I'm going to describe it more in-depth, for now I can say that it includes topics as Serious Games for Health, Game Design, Game Design for ExerGames, elevation of the exercise intensity, behavior changes, game psycology and others.
Quick notes that might tell a little bit about my thoughts for this:
"One major cause of the increasing level of obesity worldwire is the lack of enough physical activity". "Exergames and increase the intensity of exercise without a related increase in perceived exertion". "Advergames can promote healtier behavior and healtier food ingestion". "The Foundations of Lifelong Health Are Built in Early Childhood". "Video games may serve as a means for children to improve their self-care". "Physical Activity at +80% HearthRate might be needed to improve physical fitness in Young People".
and many more, that I will do more than just post a quick note.
ok, so games and exergames can be good, but as a game designer I belive that a lot of this data is way less than it could be because many games are used in some current exercise bikes, they were good enough to prove some points such as ( when riding a bike with a game, you are probably going to make more exertion ) , but the game design of these games fail at several points and many of them were not even designed to be used with a bike as a controller. So I belive that we can do more , way more.