Personal Energy Orb Connects Physical Energy Levels to the Digital

It doesn't take a doctor to determine that the more time you spend in front of a computer, the less energy you'll actually have.

But for many of us, our livelihoods and main source of income come from working on a computer. How can we get motivated to stay physically fit when we need to spend eight to 12 hours in front of a computer screen?

Meet the Personal Energy Orb (PEO) — a unique gadget created by two students at the University of Munich for theirSketching in Hardware course that ties your personal energy levels to the performance of your computer .

The designers Janko Hofmann and Fabian Pamme created the baseball-sized orb to incentivise heavy computer users to step away from the keyboard and hop onto their bike. If they don't, their computer will become annoyingly slow and sluggish — just like you will by spending all day in front of a computer.

Here's how it works:

The PEO prototype is based on an Arduino Uno and essentially operates in two modes:

1) Connected to your PC where PEO’s energy level is constantly decreased
2) When riding your bicycle with PEO attached, its energy level can be rejuvinated.

Personal Energy Orb Connects Physical Energy Levels to the Digital
Personal Energy Orb Connects Physical Energy Levels to the Digital
Your personal energy orb - Self Tracking, Health Care

At first, you won't notice a difference in performance as you use your computer, but as your energy levels continue to drop, so will the speed of your mouse. In fact, your mouse will become painstakingly slow.

So how do you restore that energy? Simply attach the PEO to your bicycle, which also includes magnetic strip near the rear tire that measures revolutions. The more you bike, the more your energy increases. Once your PEO turns green, you'll know that you're back at full-energy and can get back to the computer and the latest batch of cat gif's your friend sent you earlier.

Check out how the concept developed on the project page or by viewing the video below to see it in action.

Additional Reading

  • Personal Energy Orb Arduino project knows you haven't been exercising, cripples your computer — Engadget
  • Arduino-powered Personal Energy Orb annoys you into exercising — The Verge
  • DIY 'Personal Energy Orb Gets you Exercising By Slowing Down Your Mouse — LifeHacker


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