Ampera desk bike charges your gadgets while you work(out)
It can be quite a challenge keeping in trim while spending much of your day sat behind a desk. The Ampera desk bike from Utah-based LifeSpan Fitness could help, while also using your pedal pumping to power a smartphone or even a laptop.
LifeSpan was founded in 2002 "to bring physical activity to your workday" and released its first treadmill desk back in 2011, followed by desk bikes from 2013. Now the company has hit Kickstarter with its first campaign for a new power-generating desk bike.
The Ampera employs a super-quiet belt-drive system for minimal noise distractions, and essentially harnesses kinetic energy from pedaling and converts it into usable power for your gadgetry, with the company reporting that pumping away at 60 rpm could result in "up to 65 watts per hour at any given resistance level."
There's a 65-W USB-C charging port at the bottom rear plus a 15-W Qi-compliant wireless charging pad in a smartphone-sized bay to the front. A RGB ring light at the pedals can shine one of 12 colors selected through a companion app over Bluetooth 5 as the user pumps away. And that iOS/Android app is also a gateway to fitness stats such as cadence, speed, distance, estimated calories burned, and power generated.
The main structure is fashioned from 30% recycled materials and sits atop a 25.35-in-long (640-mm-long) tubular aluminum base frame for stability. A fabric-covered padded seat is reckoned good for "all-day comfort" and the height is adjustable to accommodate users between 5 and 6.4 ft (1.52 - 1.95 m). Repositioning the 68-lb (30.8-kg) desk bike is also made easier with the inclusion of a handle and trolley wheels.
LifeSpan is raising production funds over on Kickstarter, where pledges currently start at US$549. The usual crowdfunding cautions apply, but if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start from November.
As there's no built-in work platform as with Acer's eKinekt, and since the minimum height if the stationary bike is around 33 inches (834 mm), you will need to buy a standing desk to go with your new Ampera, which LifeSpan sells in its webstore starting at $499. You should also be prepared to add a certain bounce to your work day as you pump away at the pedals – as you can see in the video below.