Why do you work out? To feel good? Or to feed a one-eyed rainbow-colored alien? Now both are possible thanks to the Wokamon app by Noodum, a new style of pedometer that feeds a virtual pet with every step.
Users begin by choosing their own alien from a selection of weird and wonderful looking creatures that hatch from eggs. Then they begin to track their daily activity with a smartphone or by syncing the app to a fitness wearable such as UP by Jawbone, Fitbit, Ledongi or Moves. Wokamon monitors their every move and turns each step taken into nutrition, energy and happiness for their alien. As users progress they gain access to new levels and new pets, until they have a menagerie of virtual aliens relying on them for their daily meals.
If users fail to meet their exercise targets, their alien will grow sad and die. If you don’t want a starving pet on your conscience, you have to stick to your workout goals.
One of the advantages of all of the fitness wearables and trackers that have been released recently is that they can gamify exercise, rewarding workouts and punishing users who fail to meet their targets. This approach can help people to stay motivated and make working out more fun than counting down minutes on a treadmill. There are apps that treat active users to in-store goods at Sears, earn TV time or take a tougher approach by shutting off your digital devices if you fail to exercise. There are even fitness tracking devices for real-life petsbut this is the first activity monitor and virtual pet mashup we’ve seen.
With its bright, colourful graphics and humorous tone, the Wokamon app is a playful take on the pedometer. If you feel like skipping a workout, the thought of a family of aliens that depends on you for its survival may just change your mind.