Researchers at Brunel University have designed a pair of trainers that can switch off the television if the wearer has failed to take enough exercise.
Dubbed 'Square-eyes' the trainers log the amount of steps the wearer takes during the day and sends the information wirelessly to a set-top base station.
The unit then calculates the amount of viewing time earned, and switches off the television if more exercise is needed.
"Today's children are exposed to a raft of television programmes and children's channels," explained Gillian Swan, a final-year design student who came up with the idea.
"Ten years ago, children were entertained by playing games with their friends, but now they are cooped up in their bedrooms watching hours of television. 'Square-eyes' will help children to include exercise in their daily routines from an early age."
The sensors are hidden in the heel of the trainer and are set to allow roughly 15 minutes of television time for every 1,500 steps taken, up to a maximum of two hours. The available watching time is displayed on the television screen.
Paul Turnock, design director at Brunel School of Engineering and Design, said: "This project is an excellent example of realising a concept and creating a wholly feasible future project.
"'Square-eyes' will raise awareness among the family of their sedentary lifestyle and bring about a change in their behaviour."
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