Monday, March 06, 2006

Energy-Generating Gym Memberships

People toil in gyms every single day, expending energy that is essentially converted into heat that is not put to any good use. In fact, most gyms are air-conditioned in order to wick away all this heat to maintain a nice confortable temperature! This idea is to create gym equipment that functions to also generate electricity that can feed a power grid. Treadmills, bicycles, rowing machines, etc. seem to be pretty efficient machines to convert for energy generation.

Add this: membership fees would go down as energy-generation increases. Every member might have an energy card that tracks the amount of electricity that's generated by each individual member. The more the member visits and works out at a gym, the lower the membership fees. This makes sense because the member is essentially lowering the overhead costs of the gym, and perhaps the most loyal and hard-working individuals would benefit from free gym memberships!

Dynamic Speed Limits

Speed limit signs are so 1900s. Why are we all limited to the same speed? Traffic conditions, weather conditions, etc. all affect how fast we should drive in order to get to our destination fastest. Couple that with some concerns over fuel efficiency and the rise of intelligent vehicles (we hope), and we have a growing need for dynamic speed limits. What if the speed limit signs knew how the stop-lights ahead of you are synchronized so that it directs you to a speed to travel in order to "hit all the greens?" How about speed limits that know about traffic troubles ahead, and slow you down in order to smooth out the annoying and gas-guzzling nature of stop-and-go traffic? Perhaps when traffic is light, the speed limit will go up.

In any case, once we have intelligent cars, they'll be taking in this information anyways. Why don't we start building the infrastructure to allow intelligent humans to take advantage of this information?

Weather Toast

This is something I remember from way back in a BI brainstorm. How about a toaster that can toast the daily weather or news headlines onto your toast? Imagine some kind of laser engraving element in the toaster that could toast an image of a sun, cloud, or rain, or snow onto your toast to let you know how you should start your day. Naturally, this toaster would have to be networked in order to get it's data, but it would definitely integrate into the futuristic home nicely, I would think.