The growing popularity of phones, tablets, and new technologies are developing an increasing trend in a gaming mentality amongst many consumers. But who says that playing games is a waste of time? Nike and Progressive have developed devices that not only feed on the need to challenge users, but also focus on the wellness of the individual and society. Nike’s FuelBand and Progressive’s Snapshot have the ability to monitor an individual’s current living and driving habits, and then challenge the user to improve those habits by creating competitive game-like scenarios to further motivate and create a better and safer way of living life.
The Nike+Fuelband accurately tracks the user’s movements through a sports-tested accelerometer and connects via Bluetooth to your mobile app or through USB to your computer. The technology has the ability to track running, walking, dancing, playing basketball, calories burned and much more. The Nike+Fuelband’s ability to monitor daily activity is a great way to turn every day into a game. Users can challenge themselves by setting daily goals and the Nike+Fuelband will light up from red to green as it tracks the user’s progress. Not only does this challenge users to reach goals, but also motivates new challenges by reaching new milestones and unlocking special achievements. People can compete against themselves by seeing how many days in a row they can get to green.
For those who enjoy the challenge but would rather drive than run, Progressive Insurance offers Snapshot, a device that uses telematics and mobile technology to monitor a client’s driving patterns. Once installed, Snapshot calculates the amount of miles driven, the time of day in which the driving takes place, and the number of times the vehicle makes sudden stops. After a month of driving, the client receives an analysis of their driving behavior in which they’re told what changes they need to make—like gentle braking, less driving, or minimizing late night driving—to receive up to a 30% discount on their car insurance. The proposed changes have the additional benefit of maximizing the client’s savings by driving fewer miles and enhancing the safety of the environment, making the user a better driver and saver.
With monitoring devices like the Nike+ Fuelband and Snapshot, individuals can motivate themselves to become healthier individuals and create safer driving environments by being a part of a fun challenge. However, privacy is still a concern, and as more activities are tracked, it is unclear whether people will embrace this technology or push back against constant monitoring.