In case your New Year’s resolutions include more multitasking, Acer has a new bike desk for that. Called the eKinekt BD 3, the bike desk is meant to allow you to work, exercise, and generate your own clean electricity all at once. Pedaling the bike produces a small amount of kinetic energy that you can use to charge devices from the desk.
Cycling at a somewhat leisurely pace of 60 RPM (revolutions per minute) for an hour can generate up to 75 watts of power, according to Acer. Converting that to kilowatt-hours (assuming you use those 75 watts in an hour) and plugging it into the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, you might prevent emissions equivalent to walking rather than driving 0.132 miles in a gas-fired car.
In a nutshell, that’s not a whole lot of avoided pollution or clean energy
In a nutshell, that’s not a whole lot of avoided pollution or clean energy. For context, the iPhone 13 Pro Max can draw close to 30 watts from the wall with a fast charger and juice up fully in under 90 minutes.
Acer’s bike desk has two USB Type-A ports and one USB Type-C port to plug multiple devices into at once — and doing so just might motivate a tougher workout. The bike desk can function in “Working” or “Sports” mode. Basically, the rider can sit upright on the bike while typing — or push the desktop further back to make space to lean forward and intensify the workout. It also comes with a smartphone app for users who want to know how long they’ve been cycling, how many calories they burned, and the amount of watts they generated.
Acer introduced the bike desk today during CES “to empower sustainable and healthier lifestyles.” But the “healthier lifestyle” is probably easier to achieve than a big environmental impact with this product.
Plenty of companies have been marketing their gear as environmentally friendly to entice consumers, even though the real-world benefits don’t often amount to much. Acer jumps on that bandwagon with another environmental claim it makes with the eKinekt BD 3: the desktop and “casing that protects the bike’s components” are made with post-consumer recycled plastic. But even when gadgets are made partially with recycled plastic, it can often perpetuate the consumption of new plastics since it’s really difficult to make a device entirely with the recycled material.
Hopefully the computer company makes a decent enough bike to at least make the eKinekt BD 3 a fun ride. At $999 when it’s scheduled to drop in North America in June, it’s certainly a pricey ride. Acer says the bike desk will also become available in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in June and in Taiwan in April.
You might be able to try out similar contraptions, called “WeBike” cycling desks at rail stations and airports without dropping the same kind of cash. They’ve been peppered throughout Europe since at least 2014.