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Videogame Tricks You into Working Out

For many, exercise and videogames are mutually exclusive. But this hasn't stopped attempts at tricking gamers into shedding all those extra Cheetos' pounds. So far, the legendary Dance Dance Revolution has helped gamers keep their heart rate up for over a decade now, but what about strength training? Takei Scientific Instruments may have the answer, called the Smart Trainer.

Developed by Takei in conjuction with Hitachi, the Smart Trainer is basically an all-in-one exercise machine that disguises itself as an elaborate videogame controller. You have the choice of four different muscle-building routines, as well as some aerobics, and at the same time, your movements control your in-game avatar as it kayaks its way through a virtual river. At the end of your set, you get your typical scoreboard, except this time it shows how much calories you've burned so far.

The Smart Trainer's two-hit combo of workout and addictive gaming isn't just for show either. It uses viscomagnetic fluid brakes, co-developed by Professor Shin Morishita of Yokohama National University, to help generate up to 440 pounds of resistance. The videogame side, on the other hand, was produced by Pac-Man designer Professor Toru Iwatami. 

Takei plans to release the Smart Trainer this spring, for a whopping $18,000. That's a lot more than you'd spend for a Kinect or a Wii, so gaming's war on obesity is still far from won.

[source: DigInfo News]