A clever invention by a British student may be the answer to parents’ concerns about their increasingly obese children. The invention is a shoe, nicknamed “Square-Eyes”, that contains a tiny computer chip to record how many steps the wearer has taken in a day. A wireless transmitter passes the information to a receiver connected to the television, and this decides how much viewing time the wearer deserves. The recommended average of 12,000 steps a day equates to a maximum of two hours of viewing time. Once the allocated time in front of the box has expired, the TV automatically switches off and the child must go out to play if he wants to earn more time.
The expression “square-eyes” has long been a term associated with sedentary children who are exposed to too much television. This new device reverses this association by promoting active lifestyles for kids. The designer of the device, Gillian Swan, hopes her invention will mean healthier children who include exercise in their daily routines from an early age. She said: “Today's children are exposed to a huge offer of television programmes and children's channels. Ten years ago, children were entertained by playing games with their friends, but now they’re in their bedrooms watching hours of television programmes.”
According to Swan, “While children may find that two hours of TV is not especially generous, it will hopefully raise awareness among family members of their sedentary lifestyle and bring about a change in behaviour.” Some researchers believe the invention is at the vanguard of computer-integrated clothing which will allow clothes to monitor our health.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1. Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text.
a. The term “square-eyes” refers only to a new invention.
- FALSE. The expression “squareeyes”has long been a term associated with sedentary children who are exposed to too much television.
b. Some experts think that the smart shoes are the first of a new type of products that will help us control our physical condition.
- TRUE. Some researchers believe the invention is at the vanguard of computer-integrated clothing which will allow clothes to monitor our health.
2. In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions.
a. How does this new invention control children’s television viewing time?
- These new shoes count the number of steps children take every day and transmits the information to a device. Then this device translates it into the amount of time children are allowed to watch TV.
b. How may “Square-Eyes” benefit both children and their families, in Swan’s opinion?
- Thanks to this new invention children and their families may realise how little exercise they do on a daily basis and it can help them change their habits.
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3. Find the words in the text that mean:
- a. worries (paragraph 1) concerns
- b. ended (paragraph 1) expired
- c. mechanism (paragraph 2) device
- d. cause (paragraph 3) bring about
4. Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets
- a. The easiest way to prevent children from watching too much television is to keep them busy with other interesting activities.
- b. The television, which was invented many years ago, has both positive and negative aspects.
- c. Because of poor eating habits and too much television, the number of obese children has increased in the last few years
- d. Ann enjoys watching (watch) her favourite TV programmes for hours. Afterwards she always tries to exercise more. Last year she spent 200€ at a gym.