Arduino, Javascript, Scripts, WebApp
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City Peaks – Digit Employees Climb the Shard Mountain


To encourage fitness in their studio, London design group Digit decided to use their R&D stream to create a new way for it’s employees to compete against one another by the amount of times they walk up the stairs. Thanks to Arduino, RFID Oyster Cards and some html/javascript, the sum of all climbs is represented on the website as a comparison to buildings and mountains.

Office life is increasingly deskbound, and staring out at the city skyline while slumped at a computer isn’t good for our health or sense of adventure. So Digit thought: why not ditch the lift and turn taking the stairs into mountain climbs that make it fun to get fit? City Peaks Challenge is a game where players race each other up the office stairs. Inspired by tower running – the sport of running up the stairs of skyscrapers – it’s the ultimate cardiovascular exercise. Just 15 minutes of tower running equals the workout of a 30 minutes run, and with City Peaks it’s also fun.

Using NFC technology, players swipe their Oyster cards on readers at the bottom and top of the office staircase that record how far and fast they climb. Each player logs in online to start their climbing mission. Climbers are represented as flags on the faces of iconic London buildings, visualised as mountains. The first climber to place their flag on the summit conquers the mountain; then everyone’s scores are recorded, and the whole group moves to an even taller peak. When all the London City Peaks have been climbed, the game resets, and the climbers compete to beat the time of the conquering mountaineer. In addition each climber’s overall distance climbed is recorded to give a personal sense of achievement. Players are also rewarded with medals and messages of encouragement. Edmund Hillary, one of the first men to conquer Mt. Everest, said: ‘you don’t have to be a fantastic hero to compete. You can be an ordinary person, sufficiently motivated.’ We agree. You don’t have to travel far to climb great heights. You could just take the stairs.

Hardware: SM130 (MiFARE Compatible – 13.56mhz), Wiznet based ethernet shield, Arduino Uno, 16×2 LCD (drivin by 4-Wire)
Software: Website/API – PHP (CodeIgniter), Spotify App – HTML/JS |

  • This is cool, but they could have just given everyone Fitbits. 

  • True Blake, we could of also used Pedometers.

    However, the whole basis of the idea is climbing the actual office stairs, with the hardware boxes, we are able to lock down a users journey to a path that we know and gives us better visibility of the variables involved, i.e. stair counts, rises, average speeds etc.

    Pedometers are also easily shaken to rack up the devices step count.

  • Tedwards

    Can you make a Iphone app

  • Iiiitttttttvvvvvvvvv

    Can you eat a chocolate cake

  • Wow, this is a clever and magnificent use of technology for encouraging employees to exercise and to have fun! Are you marketing this as a packaged program?