The gamification of wearable tech
Here in Barcelona, smart wristband maker Fitbit captured a lot of attention with its Fitbit Challenge, selling steeply discounted Flex bands (although without the packaging, were they returns?) to delegates at Mobile World Congress.
The Fitbit Challenge caused a hullabaloo after the first day’s winner logged more than 68,000 steps, as WTW reported. It got even better when Day 2 winner Wayne Thursting logged an amazing 74,400-plus steps, which is more than most people cover in an entire week.
WTW tracked Wayne down at the show to ask him: Is this for real? And despite the fact that Wayne was clearly itching to get up and move around during our interview, he did sit still long enough to share his MWC Day 2 routine which took him to the top of the Fitbit Challenge, and become a daily winner in the highest-profile example of gamification at the show.
To log his 74k steps, Wayne:
- Got up at 5.30am – when the last bleary-eyed delegates were finally going to bed – for a warm up: a 10km run along the sea front
- Walked around MWC several times as part of his day job, working as an audio-visual technician
- Walked down to the Olympic Village (Port Olímpic) – approximately 7km – and then back
- “To add some steps”, Wayne took a walk around the industrial area near the showground during a break
- A post-show 9km run – uphill towards the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Templo Nacionale Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús), a Barcelona landmark which offers great views, as confirmed by Wayne’s photos
- A meandering 15km jog back down into Barcelona
That’s pretty impressive stuff, and the Fitbit Flex gets a thumbs-up from triathlete Wayne, who commented that he was rather surprised by the negative outcry on social media channels following his hands-down (or should that be feet-down?) win.
Most of the debate took place on Twitter, under the hashtag #MWC14Fitbit, and on the Fitbit forums.
Here’s a suggestion from WTW editor Simon Jones – who is usually delighted to clock up 10,000 steps a day: