Now I’m finding so many ideas being tested or marketed in the actigraphy space, that I’m inclined to make a tag for related posts (did). gDitty comes out of HopeLab, a Redwood City based non-profit organization.
gDitty is targeted towards promoting physical activity in kids. The product combines an activity meter device (on belt or in pocket) with an online rewards program that motivates kids to move more. The program is in a private research trial mode, so details are unavailable. But it seems that data recorded by the device is uploaded to a custom website, and translated into points of some sort. Points can be then redeemed for certain virtual and real-world rewards like avatars, gift cards, etc.
Trends in childhood obesity are alarming, to say the least. Although I’m a bit skeptical about promoting reward-seeking behavior in younger generation. There is a lot of that going on already. Maybe induce loss aversion instead? We are wired to strongly prefer avoiding losses to making gains, Kahneman & Tversky proved that.
Behavioral psychology argument aside, I realize that encouraging movement through rewards is probably more applicable to kids age-group than adults. I recently met someone from Green Goose– it’s a startup in pre-launch beta mode with similar offering for adults. They deploy tiny activity sensors in way that helps track your daily activities (biking, brushing, water bottle, shower-head, key chain etc.). The recorded data is converted into points, and you get the incentive to transfer money into savings or compete with your friends.
October 2010 Update: gDitty is now rebranded as Zamzee. From some of the job postings online, looks like they are getting serious for a commercial launch.