PSFK spoke about the Future Of Gaming with the founder of Switch2Health, a company producing wearable technology that keeps track of an individual’s fitness achievements and provides incentives that reward healthy behavior.
The PSFK consulting team has noticed that as a way to motivate people to change or improve their personal behaviors, an increasing number of games are being developed which incorporate some form of reward and/or competition into their structures.
One company operating in this space is Switch2Health (S2H)- a company producing simple, wearable technology that keeps track of an individual’s fitness achievements and provides incentives through a scalable platform that rewards healthy behavior. As users complete a specified amount of high-level exercise, the device presents a simple code to reward positive behavior that can be redeemed at the S2H website for various promotions and prizes. Users can also access personal health statistics on the site to track their progress over time. PSFK spoke with CEO and President Seth Tropper of S2H.
Please provide a brief introduction about yourself and your company.
Switch2Health Corp. (S2H) believes that one of the most powerful tools in promoting healthy lifestyles is personal motivation. S2H improves health by integrating products based on patent pending S2H technology with a rewards-based wellness platform to motivate, educate, and reward individuals for physical activity. S2H enables employees and individual consumers to earn rewards for their physical activity, join teams and compete, track their weight, engage in challenges, rise in the leaderboards, and share their progress with the online community.
Please tell us about S2H. What is the idea and goal behind its products and platform?
S2H is a platform, one which will encourage healthy behavior. The goal is to ultimately change the behavior of individuals to lead healthier lifestyles. The products and platform must be simple, relative to the technology and the user experience; and must also be affordable to appeal to the mass market.
What has been the audience reaction? Can you share any stats around user engagement?
In 2010, S2H launched the S2H REPLAY, a wrist-worn activity tracker + S2H.COM, direct to consumer and had partnered with Paul Pierce, NBA all-star; Ethan Zohn, former professional soccer player & TV personality; Andrea Metcalf, Oprah.com’s fitness expert; along with several companies and organizations for marketing and distribution. Each day thousands of users come to S2H.COM to upload code, earn points and redeem rewards and thus far have logged more than 400,000 hours of physical activity. S2H received national press to include airings on Dr. Oz, The Today Show, Good Morning America, QVC, Better TV, and feature articles in/ on CNBC, Fox Business, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, USA Today, Shape Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and others. S2H has a growing and loyal user base…
In 2011, S2H launched the S2H STEP, a pedometer which provides a unique reward code after each 10,000 steps; as well as a solution for Corporate Wellness Programs enabling companies to have a branded site to motivate, educate, and reward their employees to engage in healthy activity. Employees compete against one another, form teams and challenge (i.e. sales vs. marketing, NY vs. LA, employees vs. spouses), receive relevant information, and are rewarded for their activities; while companies benefit by a healthier and happier workforce.
We are noticing that as a way to motivate people to change or improve their personal behaviors, an increasing number of games are being developed which incorporate some form of reward and/or competition into their structures, what are your thoughts on this? Do you see this trend manifesting on a larger scale?
People are competitive by nature–and gamification is a powerful tool to engage an audience. We must change behavior to enable individuals to lead a healthier lifestyle. When I travel, I first call Continental because I want to rack-up frequent flyer miles. When I go to the store I use American Express so I can earn points. I am conditioned. Yes, I believe competition and rewards are a great way to motivate individuals (from children to adults) to be physically active; and ultimately overtime these individuals will feel better about themselves and continue with their healthier lifestyle. The loyalty and incentive industry has been thriving for years; and we are now seeing games/ incentives used in more innovative ways–i.e. to encourage healthy activity, to encourage recycling, and also more efficient energy use.
For more information about our how games can be used to support the reality of climate change, read our Gaming for Good Report.