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Be ENERGY, Build the FUTURE

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.

Photo of openCALI
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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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEH4Yum4nN4

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjrUXKXPj_g
 

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: http://engineering.mit.edu/ask/could-we-use-exercise-machines-energy-sources https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klvf5ldFA0w#t=21

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: Juancasta90@gmail.com 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

81 comments

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Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Hi Juan Pablo,

For a little inspiration, check out this partnership I learned about at a recent conference: http://ideo.pn/1FiXfuC

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

Photo of Ju
Team

Hi, great idea. I had a similar one, which was to have Energy companies set up the gyms, and you could get a small discount on your electricity bill depending on how much you worked out. Maybe this could be worked in somehow, so that there is then more of a cost benefit for the gym?

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi all! How is your prototyping going?
I just read this research post from the new Amplify Challenge on Education in Refugee Communities and thought of your project.
https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/research/using-play-to-power-learning
What do you think?

Photo of Cody O'Brien
Team

Hey Team,
Congratulations on being a top idea.
I believe this idea had an endless dynamic of future possibilities! The bench press prototype is a fantastic start. Massive amounts of energy are exerted in weightlifting and there are virtually endless possibilities of designs that could be created. Excited to see where this idea will be going and hopefully one day I can contribute to creating energy in a fitness center.

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi OpenCali Team,

Love the idea behind green gyms. There are so many potential ways to utilize gym goers' kinetic energy (stationary bikes, treadmills, rowing stations etc.) May I ask why you are only choosing to include people between 16 and 17 years old? Here are some examples of existing green gyms but I think there is a lot of room for improvement with this idea. Green Gyms are not all that common and are not that well known.

http://www.thegreenmicrogym.com/

http://news.discovery.com/tech/alternative-power-sources/human-powered-gyms-do-double-duty.htm

I think a great idea would be to take existing gym equipment and find a way to make them into green gym equipment! Also I think coming up with a better incentive for the gym goers' to work out. I look forward to seeing what you guys do with this idea :) Also, you guys might be interested in forming a team or coordinating with a few other OpenIDEOers looking to improve upon the existing green gym technologies.

Michael-
https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/fitness-fuels-the-future

Will Original- https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/small-scale-implementations-for-demonstration-and-conversation-building-ex-the-power-plant-gym

Will New Idea- https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/the-power-plant-gym-the-team

Also you guys might be interested in advising Ramiro and team about the Green Olympics idea which in its initial stages hopes to involve gyms :)

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/the-green-energy-olympics

Hope these help! Looking forward to seeing your user map :)

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hello Natalie,

We just finished posting the idea and fixed some details as the year range you mention. You are welcome to check the updates, including the user experience map. We would love to know what you think about it.

We agree with what you said about coming up with a better incentive, in the idea we propose using a bracelet that symbolize the energy contributed and a free policy if the goal is reach. We would like to hear what you think about it.

Also, thanks for encouraging us to continue the idea, we are also looking forward to the findings we would have with the prototypes at the end of this week and the comments and advices the OpenIDEO community can offer us.

We checked the information that you shared with us, we did some benchmarking based in this information.

We would read the other ideas inspired in converting the gyms in a renewable energy source, to see if we can help them in something or maybe to build a team with them.

Thanks again,
And please keep contributing us.

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi openCALI team,

I love the idea of a bracelet! With so many fitness bracelets (tracker, magnetic health ones etc.) out there, what sort of bracelet are you thinking about? It would be super neat if you guys could give tracker bracelets, which would help them to track their energy savings at all times! Or perhaps (per Mathieu's idea) you guys could give them a shoe insert where they could generate kinetic energy all day long.


Mathieu's idea- https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/power-generating-marathon

As to free membership, I think a better model might be discounts for each goal achieved. A completely free membership, might bankrupt the gym but discounts for the more you work out, could potentially lower costs to just above overhead and incentivize gym goers to be even healthier. What do you think?

The updates look great by the way (especially the user map :) ) ! Looking forward to following you guys

Photo of openCALI
Team

Natalie, thanks for following us and your good feedbacks.

About the bracelet we were thinking to use it as a tracker of the energy contributed to the gym, and as a symbol of accomplishment for the user. So we thought it as a simple one with two things: a Bluetooth system to pair with the machine the user is going to train in, and get info of how many energy is producing in the exercise. And a small display that shows the status of the “charging battery”.

As for Mathieu´s idea, it would be great to implement this technology as another source of energy for the gym. We were thinking that maybe it could be the way to charge the bracelet (electronic device), by giving the gym members a walking energy generator to charge the bracelet while the walk on the day. This way all the gym electronic devices would be charge with human movement renewable energy.

You have also a point in the business model, maybe is not affordable for the gym to give a free membership. We are working on the numbers to see if its possible to design a gym where the incomes come from the energy produced instead of the memberships paid. We also thought about a gym build by the state, instead of being a business, it could just be another type of energy source. We need to look deeper into this.

I do think that giving discounts would be a more feasible model for actual gyms. This is actually a great option for one of our ideas that is to provide actual gyms with the technology to adapt the classical weight system to an energy machine. What do you think?

Regarding your proposal of doing an energy tracker bracelet, would be neat indeed. We would like to know what where your initial thoughts when you said “It would be super neat if you guys could give tracker bracelets, which would help them to track their energy savings at all times!”, what came to your mind?

We thought about it, and it’s kind of another new idea where instead of a bracelet could be an app that tracks how many energy you used at your home, mobile devices, and transportation. And adding up all the numbers, could give the user at the end of the day a “energy footprint” showing data similar to the one of the ecological footprint, saying how many planets would be needed if daily everyone consumes the same energy.

Thanks for the appreciation of our user map. It was fun to do it as most of the team members love to draw.

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi again openCALI,

I loveeeeee the idea of using the shoe insert to charge the bracelet. For example, my fitbit lasts 7 days and my steps could definitely power my bracelet. Awesome idea! Have you guys heard of fitbits and garmin vivofits? These energy trackers, monitor your steps, heart rate and overall exercise. Also on the fitbits, the gym time would automatically register as "active minutes" and so you would be able to distinguish this from non gym time if that is an issue but your bluetooth idea for syncing to machines would add an extra safety net also. The tracker will automatically create an energy created or saved footprint for you for the day and I love the idea of syncing it with your home to figure out overall energy footprint.

I really like the idea of taking existing gyms and adapting them to be green gyms or maybe even adding a green section so that users can work towards discounts. I think asking a gym to completely convert to this model might be asking a bit much but having a section, would allow them to gage interest in their gym goer population. What do you guys think? Might be worth it to talk to a few gym owners and see if they'd be willing to upgrade some of their machines.

Photo of Umair Aziz
Team

Yes, that's why mostly companies reply only on;
http://www.trainingable.com/employee-leave-record-excel-tracker-templates/

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Natalie,
Sorry for the late answer, yesterday he have a small group meeting to take all the feedbacks and insights provided by the openIDEO community and came out with a different model to the idea.

Based and inspired in our conversation, we decided to make the bracelet the central point of the idea. Where with this device the user would be able to interact with the different kinetic energy machines present in different spaces such as gyms, parks, wearables (shoes, bikes ...) and playgrounds for kids.

We would like to know what are your thoughts about it, you have provide us with useful insights and it would be great if you share your opinion about this update,

Thanks again Natalie.

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi openCALI,

Great updates! Few comments. Love the playground idea, might be good to talk with Ange (whose idea link is below) who is hoping to do interactive playground as well!

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/a-powerful-playground

Some more helpful links from the research phase

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/research/playpumps-accessing-clean-water-through-children-s-play

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/research/a-soccer-ball-that-turns-play-into-light

and Bettina/Janice were kind enough to share these articles with me so I'm re-sharing them with you. I think they could be beneficial to your idea as well.

http://nysci.org/science-playground/

http://www.jcca-nyc.com/hallofscience.html

http://www.jcca-nyc.com/pdf/Curator_Article.pdf - This article is a great resource on Informal Science Learning in Museum Playgrounds

http://www.exploratorium.edu/education

Also one small concern that I just realized... doesn't your gym give a slight edge to men right now? For example, on average, men can lift much more than women can. This trend unfortunately translates to most exercises but to a lesser degree in biking for example. I wonder if there would be a way to offset this to make it fair. What do you think? Or should it just be purely based on how much energy you can output.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Congrats Open Cali - Cool idea!
As you posted above Natalie I also wonder if rewarding the person who can lift the most will be most inclusive and open in bringing folk into this project.
OpenCali - Have you considered a reward system based on an individual's improvement over time? As the individual increases their efforts and achieves personal goals their planet ranking increases? How about the possibility of teams? Friends can group together bringing in an extra element of fun and friendly competition?
Combining environmental action with a fitness initiative might motivate folk who are less self motivated to exercise at all, and push them further. Lots of potential for impact here on the environment and health! "Healthy bodies, healthy planet."

Photo of Marine Barbaroux
Team

I love this idea too OpenCali.
I wonder if it'd be beneficial to try and use the kinetic energy from people exercising outdoors, but not necessarily in Parks?

Runners very often share their performance on Twitter with distance and time. With your bracelet, they could post something like 'today I generated X watts, enough to power my [insert relevant gadget] ... "
I bet this would make the bracelet popular and raise awareness :)

You could use soles to recharge the bracelet, like:
http://inhabitat.com/the-solepower-harvests-energy-from-walking-to-charge-your-gadgets/
or
http://urbanwearables.technology/solepower-wearable-charger-big-step-forward-for-gadgets/

Perhaps you could also partner with trainers brands like Nike?

Photo of openCALI
Team

WOW! Thanks for those great ideas,

We love the idea Bettina of allowing the construction of teams. One of the insights we got from the prototype was that people like to workout in groups rather than alone. By allowing users to reach their goal as a group, we would be promoting teamwork and incentives to go either to the playground, or to the gym with a group of people. We like that idea and we think is one characteristic that we should look deeper into it further in the project.

Thanks for the contribution, and we hope you keep updating us with your thoughts. :)

Photo of openCALI
Team

And Marie,
Thanks for liking our idea, we agree with your opinion about not limiting it to parks. Taking the POWER bracelet to social media so that users can share their rank and energy generation is a great idea! During this week we did more benchmarking and found the Fitbit ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yggn7P4pRUw) , a bracelet that tracks the physical activity and allows users to share their performance. We envision a similar concept but, as you mention, with energy produced and merge from achievements as "I walked 10 miles today" ; to "This month i light up an entire house"

Also thanks for the links of the solepower device, and the inhabit project. We want to implement this technology as part of the idea.

The fact that you see this idea with the potential of partnering with a brand such as Nike or other sport brand is really encouraging for the team, thanks! it would be a dream, mainly because these would help the idea to positively impact more rapidly and there for we would be able to accomplish our goal of influencing the future in a positive way.

Thanks again for your constructive comments and for your encoraging advices. Hope you continue contributing.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi again openCALI!
Love the idea of thinking about reaching a goal as a group, promoting teamwork! Perhaps the group can extend beyond the gym, becoming a group that drinks coffee together and actively learns and shares info on RE, motivated by their participation in PowerLift? Maybe PowerLift can facilitate this idea? This may accelerate the transition to RE by spreading information further into other networks.

Zumba was invented in Cali! (just read that by chance...) Lots of energy to capture there! How about Zumba teams motivated to "donate energy" to a cause that the team chooses? http://betoperez.zumba.com/

Bettina

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Have you considered a Leader Board in the gym where you can post the teams/groups/individual with the highest energy donation - in a friendly way? Perhaps you can post RE tips, learnings, resources on the board or have a board where the gym folk can post resources as well? So it becomes about making energy, donating energy, and sharing learning energy?

Photo of Michael Kolakowski
Team

I would love for this idea to come to my community.

Photo of Adria Spivack
Team

Congrats on being a top idea!!!!!!

Photo of Shuting Zeng
Team

Love this idea and can't wait to see further prototype! What a nice team too!

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

I love the idea for your prototype! Testing how users react to the system is a really important piece. And you've made some solid progress on the technical pieces too! Do you have more information on how the numbers you got from TGO would translate to a university gym? And have you thought any more about how this model might restructure gym memberships? Could energy be "donated" to a cause?

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Yes!! Such a great video and I'm excited to learn more. Great work team!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Fabulous efforts on the prototype + video! To echo Bettina above – what steps would you take next to bring this idea to reality?

Photo of openCALI
Team

Meena and Joanna, thanks for the encouraging comments, we are happy and enthusiastic to continue with this project and start implementing it.

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEH4Yum4nN4

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjrUXKXPj_g

What do you think about it? Do you agree with our PoV? Is it right to jump to the funky prototype? Please share with us any advice or feedback.
Thanks.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Way to go, guys! A very deserving Top Idea. In 4+ years of working with the OpenIDEO Team, your Refinement prototype video is one of my favourites to date. Really like where you'r heading with further prototyping – smart approach to test assumptions in such a openly curious manner. Not to mention, Joanna and I were just chatting about the importance of forming shared PoV's this week – so you're right on track there :^) As you evolve things, keep in mind that it can be useful to diverge (curious experiementation) and converge (synthesis insights into PoV's and action plans) in cycles. That way you'll move things along with clarity and purpose. Can't wait to see where you take this. Kudos.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Magnifico! Prototype/Video- Wow! I can so see joining in.
What are you planning next?

Photo of openCALI
Team

Thanks.
Grazie Bettina!!
We want to thank you for being present in our development, you have gave us insightful ideas and has help us shape our idea. We hope to continue building this idea and start implementing it.

As for your question, we answered it in the comment bellow.

And again Grazie! Please continue contributing us.
Bests.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Congrats!
Cool ideas for the next steps!
Is the plan to have people create energy on machines in their daily lives, not gyms? giving folk the ability to create energy wherever they are? If so how will you have control over capturing the energy created, so it can be "saved and donated?"
Excited to watch you experiment and to see what happens next!

(love that Contex video - your idea of a funky prototype in the subway + that video image - all that energy brings to mind a flash mob!)

Photo of Juan Pablo Castaño
Team

Lets go team!!!

Photo of Chae Myung Lim
Team

This idea is great. It will help more people participate. Especially I liked I can donate my energy. I hope this will come true.

Photo of Simon Heereman
Team

Hey openCALI Team,
just stopping by to tell you that your idea is awesome.
I especially liked the benefit of making energy more tangible. Eduvation = combination of education and motivation (just made that up, though) in the most sustainable way.
Please make it happen!! :-)

Cheers from Bavaria,
Simon

Photo of openCALI
Team

Thanks Simon!!
The positive and constructive comments have been crucial in the process of ideation, as they keep the team motivated.
Eduvation, i like that word, and the concept behind that is teaching communities to contribute for a more sustainable energy sources and motivating them to do it at the same time.

Thanks Simon,
hope to see more comments from you.

Photo of Joan Cabré Puig
Team

Hi guys, I really love the way your prototype is maturing.

I've thought of another way to generate an even greater amount of kinetic energy with the workouts (it would be kind of an extension of the Planet Rank system). It would be as it follows:

Users in the gym can check their "green score" on a live screen in the room in which they are exercising. Since the live rank would be updated witht the information from the bluetooth bracelets and the machines, what if members were able to challenge one or more other members (maybe pushing a button, or through a specific device placed somewhere in the room, I don't know exactly how). And by challenge I mean, for instance, doing X reps in X time, X miles in X time, and so on.
Of course, member/s who are challenged would either accept or reject the challenge, given that not everyone might be willing to compete.
The only inconvenience this feature might bring, in case it is feasible, would be the risk of injuries as a result of an irresponsible usage. However, a possible solution to this would be that gym staff were able to supervise and "moderate" challenges in order to prevent unpleasant outcomes.

What do you think?

Best,

Joan

Photo of Ben Tantanella
Team

San Francisco OpenIDEO Meetup team

Even if technical feasibility proves to make this not a viable option for energy generation, using it as a tool to both motivate physical activity and reduce energy consumption could still make this a useful concept. If a wearable device could collect some energy, and also accurately record activity levels, then it could translate physical activity into energy consumption. If a readout could say that by riding your bike for ___ miles today you generated enough energy to charge your phone for ___ minutes, energy users could truly understand the impact of their consumption.

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey San Francisco openIDEO Meetup team,

Thanks for the contribution, we loved the idea of showing the user their results in terms of devices charged, rather than number of Watts produced. We used the device concept you suggested, as indicators of level. If someone just trained for a few minutes, they would light up one bulb, if they train harder, they would charge a phone, then a laptop, a fridge, a hairdryer, and successively.

This way of showing results proved to help the users better understand the value of energy, as they linked physical effort to their actual consumption. Many of them where amazed of how much hours at the gym would take to turn on a hairdryer.

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Love the idea of moving away from Watts to something that resonates with people.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Making it tangible - great idea! How about creating a "menu" or some sort of list where folk can focus based on their interests? So a teen might be motivated to power up an x box, and not a fridge - associations that appeal to all different people so that everyone is interested, motivated, and keeps moving?

Photo of openCALI
Team

Thanks Joanna,

And as you mention, in the prototype we did, users didnt understand what producing 80 Watts was, but when we expressed their results as devices charge, they were able to understand how much energy they had produce during the workout.

and Bettina,

Thats a great idea Bettina!! Thanks!! we love that feature of allowing the user to choose among different options for their energy "device checkpoint".. This would for sure help the users understand their results in a more tangible way. And at the same time would create conscious about the energy consumption of their favorite devices. As you mention this could help the motivation to reach more type of people. The example you use for an xbox is really neat.

Please keep contributing with those constructive advices. :)

Photo of Nathan Lucy
Team

This idea is fun! I like how it puts the power to adopt renewables *literally* in people's hands.

I'd like to invite you to test a tool that may help you find more ways to motivate people like utility companies to partner with you. My team has been doing a lot of work on the variety of motivations for participating in renewable energy projects. We want to help RE project leaders learn all the unexpected, effective ways to motivate people to adopt renewable energy initiatives like yours.

Take a look at our idea (https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/incentives-reference-guide). Would you be interested in testing it out?

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi openCali Team! Great project!
I love OpenIDEO's suggestion to think about incentivizing participation in PowerGym, generating energy for a Gym and using the cost savings to contribute to a cause. Might the idea be developed within a Community Center Gym (YMCA type of organization), using the saved costs to fund fitness programming for the greater community? At a Community Center saved funds can support different types of programming- Ex) Cool renewable energy maker classes for kids - spreading knowledge through creativity and fun.

Excited to watch your team develop this idea. Good luck!

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Bettina Fliegel,

Thanks for the enthusiasm, we loved your contribution and actually we implemented as part of our prototype. We wanted to make the user feel that they were not only producing energy but that they were also contributing the community with it. We added a "donate your energy" step, were at the end of the activity, the user was asked to choose between 3 social projects to install renewable energy technologies less developed areas.

As for our big surprise, people felt a deeper purpose on their workout when they saw it as a way to help others. The biggest motivator for them was the fact that they could help others by doing what they like.

Thanks for this advice Fliegel! Please keep sharing your thoughts with us, :)

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Thank you for telling me about this! I love the "donate your energy" phrase! This is very exciting :) I am curious - why were you surprised by their responses? Did you think users would be primarily motivated by competition?

How many people participated in your prototype? Would love to hear all the details! It sounds like you guys have been very busy! Are you planning to move forward with this "donate your energy" approach or will you continue to prototype first, and decide what to do with the energy created when you know how much there actually is?

I was thinking about the technology aspect to your project and I have a question for your experts. Cardio equipment in many gyms has the capacity to calculate Food Calories burned. Food Calories can be translated to joules=watt(seconds). When one moves stored energy is transformed from food Calories to kinetic energy. Can knowing Calories burned be a helpful measure for the PowerLift program? What do you think? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule#Kilojoule
https://www.unitjuggler.com/convert-energy-from-cal-to-Ws.html?val=300
How does a PowerKit on running shoes or a bicycle work?

Keep up the great work team openCALI!

Photo of Nataly Buitrago Gil
Team

Great idea!
Is so interesting chiefly because it has an impact in different social affairs: enviroment, economy, health.
Congrats!

Photo of openCALI
Team

Thanks for your encouraging comment Nataly,
We just updated the idea, youa are welcome to have a look and share your thougths with us.
Thanks!

Photo of Joan Cabré Puig
Team

I like your idea! And it is totally out of question the absolute feasibility of it.

Let me suggest you another way to attract customers without offering free membership, which I believe it would be too risky for the sake of the business in the long run.

My proposal has to do with demand segmentation. What if the gyms offered the possibility of a standard membership for everyone and, depending on how hard they train in the "green area", they would be able to get exclusive services/group activities? For instance, those who reached a certain level of "green contribution" would get massages for free.

Great initiative!

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Joan, thats a great suggestion.

We recently posted an updated with a different model to incentive, because we feared as well that the free membership policy was too risky for the business. Still the idea of access to more exclusive services is one that we liked a lot.


Please have a look to the update and tell us what you think.

Photo of Joan Cabré Puig
Team

Yeah, that's exactly what I meant. Also, the name you guys picked is perfectly marketable, congratulations!

Photo of openCALI
Team

Thanks Joan! we just updated our idea, we would be thankful if you have any other advice. Thanks!

Photo of Paula Mejía Botero
Team

great idea!

Photo of openCALI
Team

Thanks Paula,

We just updated our post, you can check out the video and let us now what you think about it. Thanks!

Photo of Adria Spivack
Team

I really like the idea and I think it could be expanded into schools. If you transform playgrounds and school weight rooms into places that can generate energy, you are ensuring that essentially every town/city can use this model. By aiding schools implement a "green playground", you do not face any issues that may arise in areas that do not have gyms/have a lower income population.

I also really like the idea of making use of athletes. Going off this, you can implement green gyms in universities or professional training centers. These gyms are constantly in use and could really help provide energy to their area and others nearby.

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Adria, thanks for checking out our idea.

We recently finished the post, so you are welcome to have a look to the user experience map.

You are totally right about the implementation in schools and universities, as you mention, it would help to ensure that most towns and city would be able to use the model, by instead of limiting the implementation to a public gym, it could also be use for any other activities space, such as the playgrounds and the gyms at the Universities. In fact, allowing infants to interact with this technology from an early age at school would help to ensure the participation and understanding of human activity as a renewable energy source.

If you are curious about some of the numbers here is a link to a MIT post about getting electricity from exercise. We would love to hear if you have further comments.

Thanks again Adria.

http://engineering.mit.edu/ask/could-we-use-exercise-machines-energy-sources

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Adria,

I found this company call empowered playground, the one uses "green playground" to produce energy for schools in deprived villages. A great source of benchmarking, thanks for the hint.

http://ourworldkuwait.blogspot.com/2012/07/natural-energy-parks.html
http://empowerplaygrounds.org/

Photo of Adria Spivack
Team

Hey OpenCali,
I just read your updated post and I really like the direction you guys are going in. I think Power Day will be extremely useful-- especially in lower income or less developed communities. I haven't read all of your research but what if the device is something that could be put in the sole of your shoe. Would that still generate enough energy? The one benefit of that over a bracelet would be that it could be discreet and well protected. That way people can still use it without worrying what other people think, if it looks inappropriate for the occasion, or about damaging it. Let me know if there is any way I can help!!

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Adria,

Thanks for reading our idea and for contributing with your thoughts. There is indeed already technology that is call the SolePower (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9sX32dqiQw#t=110) , a sole that allows the shoe to harvest energy while you walk. We want to use this technology to charge the bracelet.
We like your idea of using it as a power source for less developed communities, maybe it won’t produce enough energy to power up a house but it could be used to power up mobile devices such as a phone.

The idea of allowing the device to transform into another wearable thing different from a bracelet is brilliant! we didn’t thought about it and in fact, some of the users that used our prototype commented that they wanted to be discreet with their achievement. Maybe the device could be something similar to a the Mist Fit Shine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfqkF8hH7Uk)

Thanks, please keep sharing your thoughts with us.

Photo of Ryan Williams
Team

Lots of great ideas from this team! Have you thought about prioritizing the ideas into smaller, manageable milestones? I really admire the ambition for the total program and wonder if it makes sense to validate the technology first with a couple of the machines you have sketched. Then build it out into the entire system.

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Ryan,

Thanks for your appreciation, we took into account your comment in our last meeting and we ended up prioritizing the functions of the idea in order to choose which one to prototype. We were doubting between doing a functional prototype, meaning a machine that would be able to convert the energy of a gym into electricity, or re-creating the hole experience and test it in a real scenario to observe and get feedbacks from users.

We ended up testing the experience, because after speaking with some experts (University professors) we validated and concluded that the technology exists, and that the idea is totally feasible. We even contacted a company that is already generating energy from outdoor gyms: TGO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-78pxfmWGw

So we choose to test the innovative part that is merging the experience of doing any physical activity with producing renewable energy. We would be uploading the video soon.

We thank you for your comment, it helped us.
Please keep contributing us.

Photo of Ben Tantanella
Team

San Francisco OpenIDEO Meetup team

This would be great to implement in schools. It would help to educate students, plus they are "working out" during PE already. The goal could be to have schools become energy neutral by harnessing all of that precious little kid energy.

Photo of Rachel Spikula
Team

I really like the idea of bringing this to schools! I agree it would be a really tangible way to expose kids to ideas about energy. It would be cool if they could compare the effort to create a (measured) amount of energy to energy used to power everyday class room activities.

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Rachel and Ben,

Thanks for being part of the challenge, we also love the idea of bringing this technology to kids as a building-consciousness tool toward renewable energies and energy consumption. We envision this to be part of new generations’ life, that from an early stage they relate physical activity with energy production and environmental contribution.

We love the idea of allowing kids to see how their physical activity is contributing to power everyday class room activities.

During this week we intended to test the prototypes with kids at a public playground, where the reward acording to how much energy was produced was going to be a free app from the appstore or playstore. Sadly, it rained the entire weekend so we didnt had the chance to test it with kids.

On our research we were motivated with this project of an electric playground:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyGXoaNU4xw&feature=youtu.be&t=59s

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Woop, woop! Nice work on the User Experience Maps. What steps do you envision you'd need to take next (especially on the technology side) if you were keen to bring this idea into reality?

Photo of jamie dean
Team

I love the idea of capturing kinetic energy, and would love to see this idea fleshed out further. Right now, you're trying to tackle so many different things with this idea. I wonder if you could simplify a bit? And narrow in on the key value proposition of your specific project? What is the main end goal / end outcome you'd like to see? Greater community awareness of renewable energy? Actual production of renewable energy? Something else? Looking forward to seeing additional updates!

Ciao, Jamie

Photo of Amanda Rees
Team

Great idea! I'm excited to see the prototypes of the smartwatch and the bench press. Maybe it would be helpful to share the plans for these? The broader OpenIDEO community could provide feedback and help accelerate the time to develop these prototypes!

Photo of Will Rice
Team

Very similar to the idea I posted.

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/research/the-power-plant-gym

Any way I can join this team?

Photo of Roberto Luberti
Team

Don't forget that people like to compete.... I'd allow people to challenge each other on who generates more "green energy"!!!

Photo of Will Rice
Team

^^^ what he said. and also teams. i think equipment that can be used by groups of people with leaderboards would be cool. Like the PeopleMill or the GroupRunner. More people would mean more power and making it a group aspect would lend further likelihood of repeat activity...crossfit proves this claim.

Photo of Maria Valencia
Team

Hello
Great idea! Think it out also for homes or condominiums as a a way of generating house energy! Great doing exercise for more than one meaning! Love it
Also love it for schools, easy implementation that can change the way of thinking of future generations about world conservation. Kids always love to play!

Photo of openCALI
Team

Thanks Maria,

Thanks for your appreciation. What you mention about kids activity being a source of energy is indeed a great idea, if they interact form an early age with this technology then they would be more likely to implement this model when their grow up. On our benchmarking we found some energy playgrounds that transform the love of kids for playing into energy.

I leave the links bellow:

http://ourworldkuwait.blogspot.com/2012/07/natural-energy-parks.html
http://empowerplaygrounds.org/

Photo of Janice Campbell
Team

Great examples! I had no idea that communities were already implementing such ideas, and that companies were already constructing such structures. Could be something to prototype in Natalie's Eco Park idea https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/climte-change-and-renewable-energy-education-through-environmental-stewardship-in-local-parks

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

WOW these links are great! I wish we had seen these on our idea. Thank you for the share Adria/OpenCALI

Photo of Sybille Urvoy
Team

Passionated about sport, I directly joined the challenge ! Very good job so far openCALI, I'm impressed! Your idea of implementing it in playgrounds for kids is nice to make them aware of the impact they could have. What about trying it with elderly people..? Could be a way to give them motivation to be part of the movement and be active :)
You can rely on me for next steps if you need !
cheers!

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Great stuff, openCALI!

Looks like you're almost ready to take some strong ideas and possible light-weight prototypes to various users. What's the next step, and how can I help?

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on making it to the Renewable Energy Challenge Refinement list, OpenCALI! Your idea holds a lot of potential and has captured the interest of the OpenIDEO community. The sketches and user experience map bring the idea to life and we’re impressed with how you’ve evolved the idea so quickly based on feedback. We’re excited to see this continue! The idea has commercial potential and the ability to be fully executed by a small team with the right resources, which is awesome. It also has a clear reward element and takes utilities out of the conversation.

Looking ahead to the next 12 days of Refinement our team – along with the 11th Hour Project and the advisory panel – has a few questions that may help move your idea forward. First, we’d like to know a little more about the technology element. How much power would be produced by the equipment in the gym? Maybe a local gym would let you do a small experiment to find out. If it’s not enough to power the gym or other external facilities, what might other incentives be? Have you thought about applying the idea to low-income areas (building off of the more energy produced, the lower cost of the gym bit mentioned in your idea)? Could the power generated be donated to a cause? If it saves the gym money perhaps the savings could go toward an effort that improves the community. If this an option, it would be really neat to talk to a few community members and see what they think about the idea. Are you thinking of a gym in Cali as you build out your idea? It would also be awesome to hear from a few experts and receive feedback on your idea. Has this been attempted before, and if so what were the learnings?

We can’t wait to see this idea continue to develop. Check out more tips for Refinement on our blog: http://bit.ly/oi-refine and http://ideo.pn/rr-refinetips

Photo of Janice Campbell
Team

Really like the idea and I've always wondered why we haven't been able to harness more people (kinetic) energy than we do - when we go up and down stairs to subways, walk long distances through airports, play on playground equipment (swings, teeter totters, jungle gyms, slides), and work out at the gym. My only thought is about incentives.
If a person is quite athletic and fit, s/he will be rewarded. But how will you motivate new, possibly unfit people to get active, get into the gym to get more fit and to contribute to generating energy? Will they feel punished or give up because they are not as fit? Or will they risk injuring themselves by working out above their fitness level? Perhaps people advance through levels and receive rewards at each level accomplished? They will get fit and feel success while contributing to energy generation.

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Janice,

Thanks for the appreciation, you do have a point about the initiative, the free gym policy might lead to overtraining causing injuries. Also really good questions and incredible feedback, we discussed your post along with others that suggested us to change the free day model, and we came out with a different approach explained in our last update.

If you could have a look at it and give us another feedback would be great.
Thanks again.

Photo of Ramiro Sanchez Caballero
Team

Hi,
I love the way you presented the idea, the whole experience map!
Check out the Green Olympics Idea, these two could really work together!!
https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/the-green-energy-olympics

Photo of Ashley Seda
Team

I like the idea! Sounds like it can apply to a lot of different options. Have you considered possibly working with the power companies to generate rebates for the energy made? Might be an incentive for the market to work out - especially as an early transition to the concept; a gym membership fee can still apply - once you meet the goal, anything after that can go towards your energy rebate.

Photo of openCALI
Team

Hey Ashley,

That’s a great idea, in fact its kind of the model behind the FREE day policy, as the gym would get the incomes from the energy rebate rather than from the membership fee. Something similar to the actual model for electric cars of Vehicle-to-grid (V2V) where the energy produced by a hybrid car can be rebate with the local power company.

Thinking about a slow transition between membership fee to the energy rebate is also a great idea. We would include that in our next update.

What do you think about maybe encouraging people to earn money if they surpass a determine level of energy produced? If the gym is making money from the energy rebate, maybe the athletes might do as well.

Please continue giving us feedbacks, it really help us. Thanks!

V2G video:
http://youtu.be/WfZ2aBW0iuQ?t=42s

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Loving your User Experience Map! Thanks for your contribution.

Photo of openCALI
Team

Joanna, Thanks!

It proved to be a powerful tool that helped us to land the idea. We followed the refinement guide for doing the user experience map. At the meetup we printed out the worksheets and work over them. This made the making of the experience map a fun and creative activity.

We used this guide:
https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/4d9f8db8-8d5e-4331-ab6c-4d44cc659589.pdf