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Transform the physical activity into electricity! Our idea is to use the force invested by the human body in moving heavy weights, walking, swinging and other activities, into energy. With the combination of discounts and gamification incentives, people from all ages would start to interact with the concept of "being energy". MISSION & VISION To break the gap that exists between people and energy generation. Our vision is to shape the future into a community were through collaboration green and renewable energy can be produced, and that is perceive as a fun and healthy activity, either if you do it on a park, playground, gym or by installing a solar panel, contributing with energy generation would be the new Status Quo.

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Prototype (video)

At the beginning…

FIRST we placed fake energy generators in the gym machines, and told the users that they were generating energy while they workout.

SECOND we gave them a fake bracelet (Usb bracelet), and told them it was a device that tracked the energy produced by connecting through Bluetooth with the energy generation on the machine

At the end….

In the result wireframe, we show them:

Their position in the daily record list: this was the competition factor we added, it end up leading users to workout harder to reach better positions on the daily record list.

Their energy produced: We showed the user in terms of devices charged the energy they generated during their workout. This proved to be an effective way of showing the user some tangible and reasonable results.

Donate your energy: A feature where users where able to choose within three projects and donate their energy to it. All of the project where to build renewable energy systems for lees developed communities. 1, Solar panels for a local village, 2. Wind turbines for a windy village and 3.Hydraulic dam in a rural lake village.
Planet Rank: According to how much energy was produced, the user was recognized with a bracelet of a different color and with a discount in a local cafeteria. This simulated the gamification experience we envision the idea to have. 


INSIGHTS Prototype

We were gladly surprise by how the users interacted with the prototype. Some of the reactions we found interesting were:
The concept of energy units, is ambiguous to most. 
People didn’t understand what producing 1 Watt means, so it is necessary to express this numbers with a different approach.
On the prototype we express the energy produced by the device they were able to charge. This seemed to be a great way to help the user comprehend how much energy was generated.
The user wants to have the option of being discrete
Some of the users felt uncomfortable with the idea of wearing a glowing bracelet to show their performance. They commented that they would like the option of keeping it to their self’s.

Donating and contributing to society is the strongest motivator.
Users declare that the fact that they were able to “donate their energy” to a social project, was encouraging and gave them a deeper sense of purpose to their training.
“…Because is not doing exercise just for fun, but for an important cause. That’s what got me motivated.”
“…the meaning of training isn´t just for my health, but also helping another cuase.”

Users want to share their performance.
A girl that reached the Planet Hero Rank (highest) wanted to share her performance with their friends and took a picture of her achievement in order to share it.
The ranks incentivized user to push over their normal limit.  
One of the users that reached the Planet Savior Rank (before Hero), choose to workout longer than what she normally does in order to reach the next rank.

What´s next?

What we see next is doing a funky prototype and start the convergence stage of Design Thinking, to do so we have been overviewing our insights and the needs that we have identified during this period to define our PoV (point of view), and guide the rest of the process.

The PoV that we have identified is:
Communities NEED a tool that allows them contribute to the future without any exaggerated effort, or change on their habits BECAUSE they are conscious of the issues that will emerge if everyone continue with their same habits.

As for the funky prototype we were thinking of bringing this technology to a different scenario, where people are not doing exercise such as an office of a subway station. What we have picture is designing a space where any one can participate without changing their habits. We are inspired in the marketing experience of Contex:

And making the contribution tangible. Like a display that shows the user of the machine a life image of the person using the energy on a least developed area. For example, someone using the bike would see in a tv how a kid is reading in a school a book with the energy being produced.
With this we intend to give the people a tool to contribute the future without changing their habits or doing an exaggerated effort.

We are inspired in this digital marketing project of Idinteractive:

POWER system:

Thanks to all the feedbacks given by the openIDEO community we created a system of generating electricity and social consciousnes. .

Is not only doing exercise, is any activity: 

In hour System, we have included most of the activities done by a person during their lifespan, from kids to adults. In order to build a consciousness and awareness about energy.

POWERgym: a gym with all the kinetic energy technology that allows the user to produce energy.
POWERpark: A park with outdoor exercising machines to allow people who train in the park to produce energy as well.
POWERday: this would be events organized to create energy together, such as a triathlon of athletes using the POWER kit on their shoes and bikes.  

 A playground that will allow kids to interact with the concept of renewable energies by allowing them to create electricity though play


Regarding the Technology facts:

We contacted TGO (The great outdoor), a company that has develop the idea of producing energy with gym machines.  With their help and our team member Electronic Engineer, we calculated an approximately how much energy is produce in each KG lifted 1 meter in one second:


              1Kg*m/s = 9.97 Watts


We would continue with this calculations to know if this could cover for the energy use in a gym or in a park. This information is important for the model of the idea. If anyone knows a more precise number please share it with us. Thanks!

How can it be profitable?

This would lower the coast of electricity and increase the incomes as the extra energy is sell to the local power company. Similar to the model use on now a days for Vehicle to grid (V2G) model. 


User Experience map for POWERgym. (powerlift)


PLANET RANK instead of FREE membership.

The incentive for working out is earning a higher PLANET RANK, which
goes from planet citizen to planet savior. The rank would be determine by the monthly amount of energy produced, each rank would give the user different kinds of benefits, such a monthly discount at the gym, at his son´s school, and at app store. 



What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?

People from 10 to 70 years old that are able to do physical activities. Kids would interact with the POWERkids playgrounds, and would be motivated by the discounts and promotions they can get of app store of apple. This would help early generations in their transition to renewable energies by allowing them interact with games and the term of producing energy. Older users would share the need of becoming or being helthy, but would have the motivation of accesing to discounts and prices for ranking up. Another possitive impact would be changing the mind set of “investing energy in working out” to “giving energy while working out”. Another issue tackled by this idea is that the actual renewable sources such as sun and wind, are limited to the space condition, if there is not sun, no energy and the same with wind and water. This energy source comes from a resource that we have everywhere: people. A POWERLIFT could be open in an isolated village that doesn’t have wind, sun or water as an energy resource to power it up.

How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?

OpenCALI team thinks that the main reason for a slow transition from our current reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energies is that the actual options are not accessible and therefore there isn’t an interaction between the people and this technology. POWERLIFT erases this gap, allowing people to interact with a renewable energy technology, accelerating this transition and changing the actual status quo of “being fit” to “being energy”.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Until this point we haven’t done any test, we have done some research and know that the technology is being applied (links bellow) in other fields. At the moment we are working to calculate if it is possible to transform the gym into the electricity source of a neighborhood, how many people would be needed? How high would be the POWERLIFT daily goal? Etc. Jumping to prototyping with real people, we are thinking of testing the user experience in a local gym. Doing a wizard of oz prototype for the bracelet, where supposedly the harder you train the more energy you give to the gym, and therefor if your train hard enough, the gym is free. We would try to test this at the end of the upcoming week with a smartwatch, where a video would be played as if a battery was being charged over time. Another needed prototype, is the functional one. One of the OpenCALI member is an electronic engineer with experience on renewable energy, with him we would prototype a bench press that produces energy. (this is a more complex prototype, so it would take longer) Regarding the other exercises such as spinning, group classes and running in the treadmill there is actual studies and technologies to get energy from it, so there is not an immediate need to test it. Links:

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

Up to this point WE WANT TO THANK YOU FOR READING OUR IDEA, and if you liked or disliked it please tell use why? What do you think about it? Could you picture it working in your community? Do you know of something similar? Would you like to be part of the team? Thanks again! And if you want to get a more personal approach contact us thought e-mail: Juan Pablo Castaño Valencia Meetup facilitator

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • A type of energy not listed

This idea emerged from:

  • An OpenIDEO Meetup


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Photo of Joanna Spoth

Hi Juan Pablo,

For a little inspiration, check out this partnership I learned about at a recent conference:

Can't wait to see you in the Healthy Lives Challenge!

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