Whether it's an infomercial gimmick, a whacky workout trend, or the next miracle machine, the tech world's full of off-beat fitness gadgets for people looking to lose a few pounds. Some are cutting edge, some are strange, and some might even add zip to your routine - but they're all worth a look.
Keep clicking to see 10 off-beat hi-tech exercise aids, from CBS The Early Show's tech expert Katie Linendoll.
TrekDesk Treadmill Desk
TrekDesk's Treadmill Desk fits around any standard-sized treadmill, allowing users to work out while they work. Who wouldn't want to build up a sweat during a conference call?
It's decked out with a 72" by 34" surface, a few handy accessory slots for phones, pens, and coffee cups, and a file tray. Talk about extreme multi-tasking!
Its manufacturers say users can lose 50-70 pounds in a year without a diet. It retails for about $500 - but treadmills are not included.
Credit: TrekDesk Treadmill Desk
Turbosonic Whole Body Vibration
Anyone who dislikes exercising, or can't exercise, may be intrigued by the Turbosonic Whole Body Vibration machine. Essentially, a session involves standing on a vibrating platform for about 10 minutes - that's it.
But its manufacturer says that will increase strength, endurance, and flexibility. And that's not all - the Turbosonic folks claim the up-and-down movements exercise the organs, improve blood vessel circulation, and activate the lymph system - whatever that means. Whether it's the miracle machine it claims to be, or just another lame gimmick, isn't really clear because scientific evidence is lacking. One thing's for sure, it's not cheap. Models range from $7,500 to $16,000.
Credit: Turbosonic Whole Body Vibration
ErgoBike Premium 8i
From Germany's Daum Electronics, the Ergo Bike Premium 8i is a stationary bike that's outfitted with speakers, a microphone, monitor, camera, and an internet connection. Think of it as Facebook meets spin class - for a price tag of $3,500.
Users can compete against each other on virtual versions of famous race courses, or even team up for simulated races and talk smack over their headsets.
Credit: ErgoBike Premium 8i
Jumpsnap is a rope-less, electronic jump rope with a calorie tracker, jump counter, timer, and user profile to track progress. To use it, hold the two portable rods, and start jumping as if it was a grade school physical fitness test. It could be useful for a more continuous, less tangled workout, while the jump tracker motivates users to beat previous high scores. It retails for about $50 after shipping.
Body Vib Weights
These German-made, low-weight dumbbells vibrate at 36 cycles a second - more than 2,000 vibrations a minute - during a workout. For a price tag of almost $1,100, the manufacturer claims the weights "intensifies" training by up to 50 percent.
Geared more toward athletes, Trazer is an interactive exercise machine intended to improve reaction time, strength and balance. To use it, you strap on a waist belt that contains an infrared beacon, then move and manipulate resistance bands in response to game-like scenarios on a monitor - it sounds like a Wii Fit on steroids. The system is already featured in several gyms across the country.
The Airbounder, by Hoggan Health, is a plyometric platform - which basically means you jump on it. Unlike free-form plyometrics, like a trampoline, the Airbounder allows users to set resistance levels and track progress and heart rate. Its manufacturers say the jumping motion can improve circulation, strengthen the thymus gland (and as a result, the immune system) and improve balance, muscle tone, and energy.
Mt Ever Climb
MtEverClimb is a riff on that treasured gym class staple, the rope climb - only this time a passing grade isn't at stake. A pulley allows for non-stop climbing, while adjustable resistance lets users control the speed, power and direction of the rope. It stands 120" tall and a fully loaded model costs about $9,000.
Credit: Mt Ever Climb
Gaiam Balance Ball Chair
Some desk chairs double as insidious, back-wrecking torture thrones. A more ergonomic and weirder option is the Gaiam Balance Ball Chair, a desk chair that incorporates a 52-centimeter exercise ball. It costs $120 and comes with resistance cords so people can tone their arms and legs while working their abs balancing on the ball. Will you want a ball chair at your office?
Credit: Gaiam Balance Ball Chair
iDance Wireless Dance System
Video games are always blamed for making kids fat. iDance probably doesn't do that. It's a frenetic, multiplayer "exergame" similar to the popular Dance Dance Revolution games. Users dance on wireless-enabled platforms in response to scrolling indicators on a monitor where they follow along. Up to 32 platforms can be used at the same time for a group workout.