Chances are that some of you may have read the title of this post and asked yourself “What is Gamification?”. Well, according to Wikipedia it’s the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and solve problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, return on investment, data quality, timeliness and learning. The word was coined by Nick Pelling (a computer programmer and inventor from the UK). To give you an idea about how this actually works I’m going to feature 3 Amazing Examples of Gamification today.
Twitter Activated BOS Ice Tea Vending Machine: Yesterday South African FHM model Kirsty Bisset made me aware of this wonderful invention. BEV (or Bevmax 4.45) is the world’s first Tweet activated sampling machine. All you have to do to enjoy an ice old BOS Ice Tea on the house is to simply tweet her unique hashtag (#BOSTWEET4T) when you’re standing in front of her.
This vending machine was originally designed to work with tokens, but thanks to human ingenuity she was modified to work with the Twitter API. BEV also has geo-location functionality built into her so she can tell if you’re not close enough to fetch your BOS Ice Tea. If you are too far away she’s kind enough to tweet you to tell you that you are. BEV’s creators simply wanted to make the simple process of sampling a BOS Ice Tea memorable and entertaining and I think they’ve achieved that goal. This is a perfect example of gamification. Check out the promo video for BEV below:
Yawn-Activated Douwe Egberts Coffee Machine: Earlier in 2013 Dutch coffee manufacturer Douwe Egberts placed a coffee vending machine in front of half asleep and red-eye travelers at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. The “Bye Bye Red Eye” campaign served coffee to more than 210 passengers and all they had to do to get a cup of coffee is yawn in front of the machine. The coffee was absolutely free. Yawns were recognized by the machine’s facial recognition technology.
This is another excellent example of gamification. This kind of technology could be incorporated into your home. Imagine stumbling into your kitchen early in the morning and yawning into your coffee machine or the alarm clock at your bedside to get a fresh cup of java. The days of pushing buttons and flicking switches to make a fresh cup of coffee are numbered if you ask me. Check out the Douwe Egberts promo video for the “Bye Bye Red Eye” campaign below
Speed Camera Lottery – The Fun Theory: In this day and age nobody really likes getting a speeding ticket. In South Africa we’re quite lucky: in some countries in Scandinavia ticket amounts correspond with your salary, not that speed that were trapped at. The fact is, fuel prices and food prices are rising globally and the last thing that you need is a speeding ticket to turn a smile into a frown. In an effort to get drivers to drive slower a game designer from MTV in San Francisco decided to develop a mobile app that rewards drivers who obey the posted limit by entering them into a lottery. The compliant drivers then split the proceeds generated from speeders.
Richardson won a contest organized by a Swedish advertising firm for Volkswagen Sweden and they decided to put his app to the test. They tested the app at a checkpoint in Stockholm and the average driver speed was reduced by 20%. Richardson simply used a gamification concept to turn a negative reinforcement system into a positive experience that could save lives and reduce injuries. Imagine what an app like this could do to reduce the road accident toll in South Africa? Speeding is one of the leading causes of road deaths in our country. Check out one of the campaign videos below:
Well, there you have it, 3 Amazing Examples of Gamification. I hope that you have a better idea of what it is now and that some of you reading this come up with brilliant ideas.
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