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Forget cycling to work, with WeBike you can pedal while you work

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April 25, 2012

Belgium's We-Watt has created a stylish pedal-to-power pod named WeBike, with three seats ...

Belgium's We-Watt has created a stylish pedal-to-power pod named WeBike, with three seats around a circular table, each with its own set of pedals that convert gentle cycling action into electricity

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Whether dozing in front of the big screen TV or being stuck in front of a computer all day at work, our tech-filled lives are not exactly conducive to the kind of physical exercise our bodies need to stay healthy. Belgium's We-Watt has come up with a stylish way to get some sweat-free, easy-going exercise while at work, rest or play. The WeBike is a round table with three seats positioned at thirds. Those seated at the table generate electricity by pedaling away at an easy pace, simultaneously getting some much-needed light exercise and juicing up mobile gadgetry in the process.

A report recently commissioned by the European Parliament highlighted the dangers associated with physical inactivity in the workplace – coronary heart disease, type II diabetes and certain forms of cancer as well as the many health issues linked to obesity, to name a few. Among the recommendations put forward to stem the decline in physical fitness in today's sedentary workforce is the integration of exercise programs into the daily work routines of employees.

We-Watt quotes another study by the Dutch research organization TNO, which found that gentle cycling (at about a third of maximum cycling capabilities) had a positive effect on work performance – speed reading improved by 30 percent, time management was better and mental faculties were sharper.

There's an interactive LED ring display in front of each seat which indicates the amount o...

Rather than getting all sweaty in the gym or putting yourself at the mercy of inconsiderate drivers when clocking up a few miles on the bike at lunchtime, perhaps you could stop off at a WeBike pedal-to-power pod instead.

The standard WeBike arrangement consists of three seats around a circular table, each with its own set of pedals that convert gentle cycling action into electricity. The main body of the unit is made from aluminum and steel, with reclaimed cedar wood adding some natural design appeal. The table top is made from high pressure laminate from Trespa. There's an interactive LED ring display in front of each seat, which indicates the amount of human power being generated and the available AC power for charging devices.

We-Watt says that the system can generate around 230Vac/30Watts of output per seat. While not really about working up a sweat, the more pedal power a user produces, the more LEDs will light up to indicate more available electricity for the gadgets we just can't be without.

A WeBike takes window position at the ECKi restaurant in Brussels, Belgium

The WeBike setup can also be supplied with individual units positioned in a straight line, against a wall perhaps, or in a curvy snake arrangement. Units have recently been installed at the Cameleon Shopping Mall and the ECKi restaurant in Brussels, Belgium and the company told us that pods will shortly be making their mark at Brussels Airport.

Manufactured in Flanders and currently having a two- to five-month production window, WeBike pods can be purchased for €9,950 (US$13,154) each, although the company does also operate rental schemes.

Source: We-Watt

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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6 Comments

Costs as much as a new entry level sedan! C'mon! It is commendable to have people doing a wee exercise but... you do not really target the obese masses with this, to you (?)- at this price point! (I guess I could make a decent little system out of scrap parts ...all you need is the pedals ...for near zero cost with some sweat equity.)

nehopsa
25th April, 2012 @ 04:36 pm PDT

Put some pedals on a desk and charge $13k? Tell'em they're dreamin!!

kufu
25th April, 2012 @ 09:14 pm PDT

This is an ergonomics nightmare. The seat isn't adjustable. The work surface is way too high and again isn't adjustable. For that price, they still scrimped and put on cheap quill pedals instead of large, comfortable platform pedals.

Better off getting one of the treadmill desks that are much cheaper and have been available for years.

http://www.gizmag.com/go/7298/

Gadgeteer
25th April, 2012 @ 10:48 pm PDT

No reason it should be so expensive. Can you imagine having pedal powered desks in classrooms? It might help hyperactive kids. I'd love a four seated table for card playing and other social activities. I doubt it would be practical except where electricity is not readily available though.

Ed Reed
26th April, 2012 @ 12:57 pm PDT

The other comments reflect my views exactly - great idea, shame about the price. While it is all very green and politically correct, surely it must be possible to do this more cheaply? I'd love a desk like this and I might finally manage to keep some weight off.

Odille Esmonde-Morgan
11th December, 2012 @ 12:46 pm PST

Well, according to the article, there selling them pretty well. This is not designed for the masses(as ye guys are mentioning) more for the high retail marts.

Looks like they did well with there pricing and marketing.

Thatdudewithatie
21st September, 2014 @ 04:39 pm PDT
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