Childhood obesity is a problem that continues to grow in the United States: over the past 30 years alone, the rate of obese children and adolescents has more than doubled, which means that almost one-third of them are obese. One of the best ways to combat obesity is a healthy lifestyle that includes physical exercise, something most don’t get as more spend longer playing mobile games. OWL LLC wants to gamify the development of positive exercise habits and make them easier to engage with its Owl Fitness Tracker.
The Owl iOS app essentially replicates the nostalgia-laden experiencing of caring for a Tamogatchi or a Pokémon Pikachu with the Owl fitness tracker acting as a pedometer. The more a user walks, the more points can be earned to grow the Owl, buy food to keep it happy, and accessorize it for fun.
The app itself is colorful if just a bit straightforward, and fitness tracker looks like every other generic fitness tracker out there — although it surprises with a built-in USB cord for charging. The Owl Fitness Tracker is $30 and the iOS app is free to download. Its Kickstarter campaign is looking for $20,000 by July 14th, 2016.
The Owl system of fitness for little ones actually holds a lot of promise but doesn’t deliver in execution. Important in these types of games is the desire to want to keep walking; simply feeding an owl to make it grow isn’t enough. Instead, there should be a little more depth to the affair: perhaps a larger selection of animals, more customization options, presents, surprises — you have to keep the user hooked! Pokemon does this well, both in its core series and outside of it, because it gives players a wide range of options to ensure they keep playing. More depth would do a product like Owl justice because the company’s goal is a noble one.