Smartphones, tablets, notebooks and similar technology definitely changed how we interact and live our daily lives. Let’s face it; the emergence of such advancements has pushed us to live in a virtual bubble, where every interaction can be done without needing to leave the couch. Technology has slowly changed our lifestyle and it seemingly pushes us to spend more time indoors than outdoors. Outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, camping, hunting, boating and the like slowly lose their appeal among people. It is an irony though that the same technology that pushed us to live in a bubble could also be used to push us to enjoy the outdoors and live an active lifestyle again. How?
Introducing “Game Driven Marketing” and “Interactive Real-Life Gaming”
The slow change in people’s lifestyle pushed companies such as Dryden Development Corporation to develop something that would get people back to loving the outdoors. Dryden Development Corporation, a company in Ontario teamed up with TecVana Corporation, a small social media entrepreneurial company in London, and Izumi Outdoors, to solve the emerging problem. This team-up aims to find innovative solutions that will move people from their virtual bubble into the real world. The team is developing a program that will motivate younger generations to develop or create new and age appropriate outdoor activities that are appealing and fit their lifestyle.
The move started earlier in 2010, when TecVana challenged students studying Multi Media Design and Production to develop a program following the concepts of “game driven marketing” and “interactive real-life gaming” with a focus on outdoor activities. Interactive gaming through the use of the latest technology is believed to be a tool to connect with the younger generation and to push them to reconnect with the outdoors. The challenge was a success and students were able to demonstrate how gaming can move people away from their couches and to the outdoors. Social media tools that promote awareness, knowledge, education, motivation, and creation of skill acquired jobs were shown to influence people to go out and live actively.
With this as a starting point, the team is now conducting special promotions that are designed to get in touch with the younger generation and solicit their ideas about outdoor activities that appeal to them. The solicitation of ideas is a way for the team to develop recreational outdoor activities that can attract the youth.
Another innovation aimed to motivate people to go outdoors is the Geo-Cruizing solution. This is a smartphone app that provides users with information on outdoor activities and adventures available in their area. The app searches for communities that offer convenient outdoor adventures just a short drive away from home. It also provides real time information so users are not worried that the information is not updated. The app also has a reward or a bonus system. Users are given rewards or bonuses if they participate in an outdoor activity. Users can redeem the rewards from the sites virtual store or from their sponsors.
The efforts of the teams developing apps for the outdoors not only benefit the youth, but also the rural communities that depend on outdoor activities as a source of living. Recent statistics show that these communities suffer from economic loss as fewer tourists come to experience great outdoor adventures.
The team developing apps and programs to motivate people to enjoy the outdoors are also aiming to help rural communities that rely on outdoor activities for income. Use of technological advancements should not keep us in a bubble; let’s use technology to enhance how we interact and to improve how we live.