life imitates game (2/27/2011)

(Originally posted on February 27, 2011)

I’m not sure whether this is impressive, surprising, or just cynically ironic… but: what happens when you combine the competitiveness of online gaming with meatspace motion sensors and connected devices? You get: GreenGoose!

With GreenGoose (presumably you can blame the name on the mess that is the .com namespace) you can “Track, your lifestyle”. GreenGoose is a “real-world game platform that automatically measures things that you actually do”… as opposed to those things you do online, in a game world, which we all know don’t count. With GreenGoose, you can track, say, how much exercise you get, how often you brush your teeth, or presumably anything else that one of their tiny motion sensors can detect and report on. The more that you do that you say you’re going to do (“intentions”), the more “lifestyle” points you get.

The competitive aspect of this is, of course, similar to what you’d find in any game, but the “meatspace” aspect is similar to FourSquare, where you’re encouraged to “check into” the restaurants, cafes, and other venues you visit, with the goal of becoming “mayor” of those establishments. It’s “only” a virtual accomplishment, but that hasn’t stopped millions of people (reference, reference) from registering for the service.

I’m not sure how interesting this will be to the average person, but with a starting price of $24 for the kit, it might be an interesting hacking target. The sensors don’t appear to be wireless, though. But the content on the website seems to imply that the sensors are small and perhaps embedded into stickers that you attach to, say, your dental floss container:

With the promise of developer and vendor APIs and partner opportunities, we could see some interesting scenarios: “Got a product with a healthy consumer behavior that can be measured in a fun, helpful way? We’ve got the patent pending sensors and algorithms. Let’s talk.”

PS: Imagine the Valentine’s Day gift scenarios!!

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