Finding the motivation to exercise when you could be catching up on your favourite Netflix show from the comfort of your sofa is a very real struggle. But this clever new invention could be the answer to a guilt-free binge-watching session.
Ronan Byrne, a student at the Dublin Institute of Technology, has created Cycflix – a stationary bike that will stream Netflix, only if you pedal.
If you stop moving for too long, a warning sign will appear on screen to tell you are going too slow and Netflix will stop playing until you start to move your feet again. Yep, it sounds like the ideal incentive to workout, which is partly why Byrne came up with the idea in the first place.
On his Instructables blog, Byrne says he dreamed up this “exercise powered entertainment” to learn computer coding with python and “maybe (a big maybe) get me using the exercise bike.”
How does it work? “It uses a stationary exercise bike connected to an Arduino Nano to control the streaming of Netflix on a PC,” he writes. “The main gist of the project is that, at the click of a button and some user input, Firefox will open and play Netflix and monitor your speed for the workout routine you designed. If you are going below the speed for too long, Netflix will be paused until you get back up to speed.”
Bryne adds that Cycflix can also be integrated into other streaming services and that there’s potential for “a lot of extras” including adding sound and saving workout details. However, while this might sound like your dream fitness regime, it’s worth noting that the bike is just a prototype.
And although Byrne gives detailed instructions on how to replicate his idea at home, you will need to be a pro at coding to build your own.
In the meantime, if you really want to Netflix and sweat in the gym, there’s always the smartphone app.