TuggMay 1, 2010
Wouldn’t it be cool if we could create a mobile game to fight childhood obesity?
Tugg utilizes a blend of mobile heart monitoring technology and social gaming to pit teams of kids against each other in virtual games of tug-o-war. The only way for kids to win is by raising their heart rate, thereby reducing the risk for and effects of childhood obesity in a fun, competitive social game.
The Tugg promotype utilizes a hand-held heart monitor from Vernier that’s as easy to use as holding on to the handles of a jump rope. After signing up online, the student simply plugs in the kid-friendly heart monitor to her home computer and starts dancing, jumping, hula-hooping, or exercising in any way she wants. After 30 minutes of a healthy elevated heart rate, the student’s session on Tugg is complete and she sees the progress of her team or class so far. If the student’s class is winning, she will see a visualization of a tug-of-war rope moving one step closer to victory. At the end of the week, the class with the most 30-minute sessions completed will win! At the end of the round-robin style tournament within her school, the class with the most overall wins is the champion and moves on to represent the school in a state-wide single elimination tournament. Little did they know, but while the students were competing with one another to win the tournament, every elevated heartbeat moved them one step further from hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a number of other health risks that accompany childhood obesity.