We’ve seen people in fitness clubs watching CNN, SportsCenter or Oprah on a TV screen as they powerwalk on a treadmill or pedal a spinner bike. So how about using the energy generated by the exercise to power the entertainment device?
The “Oddball” segment on MSNBC’s Countdown With Keith Olbermann on Friday night included a piece about a bicycle-powered cinema in Vilnius, Lithuania. The 40-watt projector at Cinema Pasaka in Vilnius’ old town is powered by eight bicycles ridden by 20 cyclists during the course of a film. “Bicycles built for a view,” as Olbermann called them.
This could be a novel way for a bike shop, say, to show bicycle-related films. (I have a shop in mind.)
It would allow customers to get in a bit of exercise as they watched the films and save a few kilowatts of energy.
It turns out that the idea isn’t new. A London-based outfit called Magnificent Revolution conducts “workshops for those interested in learning the ins and outs of pedal power generators.”
“Our pedal powered cinema system uses 10 bikes and 20 legs to power 600W of audio visual equipment for screening films or projections,” says the website for Magnificent Revolution. “Our system is very flexible; the bicycles can be arranged in a variety of spacial arrangements.”
Electric Pedals, for example, used volunteer pedal power last Christmas to illuminate a Christmas tree at the Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park.
Check out the video, in which Tim Siddall of Electric Pedals explains how pedal power was used for a screening of the film The Age of Stupid.