Earn Your Way to Being a Couch Potato

Posted on May 18, 2005

Health experts in Britain think that British children are way too fat and watch too much TV. But one enterprising grad student thinks he has the solution.

A special insole called Square-eyes that fits inside a child's shoe and tracks his exercise activity. This recorded activity can then be exchanged for sedentary hours watching the telly. It's a simple concept: you run, you get to lounge in front of the TV.
One button on the shoe -- the brainchild of a student at west London's Brunel University -- records the amount of steps taken by the child over the day. Another transmits this information to a base station connected to the TV. It calculates the time earned and once it runs out, the TV automatically switches itself off.
This sounds like it will work great -- until kids figure out how to hack the insole. So how far will little Sally or Tommy be willing to run in order to earn some good couch potato time? The shoe is not on the market yet, so parents will have to wait a bit longer before they can make kids "run for TV."