Software developers from Saskatoon have been figuring out a way to reward kids for exercising.
If you guess it’s food-related, that’s too obvious. Money? You’re getting closer.
Dustin Gamester and Andrew Crouse have developed a program called FitCoins, a currency that rewards kids with digital device privilege time if they’ve put in the work.
FitCoins are dished out when the child is active. One step has a value of one FitCoin, which comes to one second of game time, or a 1-to-1, exercise-gaming ratio. Every time a gaming device is used, their FitCoin funds slowly evaporate. Once the child hits zero, the screen shuts off.
Parents would decide which apps on their child’s phone or tablet qualify as a game.
Gamester says he wants to use the addictive properties of video games, and turn it into a positive.
“Games are designed to be addicting nowadays. We figured this could be a potential solution for a big problem,” he said.
Exercise is tracked via smartphone or a FitBit wrist piece. The data is then sent to the special FitCoins adapter.
“Our website hooks into the back end of those services and pulls in how many steps they’ve taken, so it can add to the user’s balance,” Crouse said.
With software ready to go for phones, tablets, and TVs, the duo are working on adapting the software for desktop computers. The system will fully launch sometime next January.