It could be the ultimate incentive to get kids exercising – a shoe that controls the amount of TV they watch.
The shoe – dubbed Square-eyes – has a unique insole that records the amount of exercise a child does and converts it into television watching time.
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.
The health monitoring insole has been designed by Gillian Swan, a final year design student at Brunel.
“Today’s children are exposed to a raft of television programmes and children’s channels. Ten years ago, children were entertained by playing games with their friends, now they are cooped up in their bedrooms watching hours of television programmes,” she said.
“Square-eyes will help children to include exercise in their daily routines from an early age,” she added.
Pedometers that measure the amount of steps taken in a day are becoming very popular among both adults and children. The majority set a daily target of around 10,000 steps.
The target of Square-eyes is a little higher. The ultimate aim is 12,000 steps for girls and 15,000 for boys – a target which should be “easily achievable for more active children,” said Ms Swan.