When it comes to influencing user behavior, Apple is always thinking about innovative methods to bring to its ecosystem. Apple Fitness+ service has already helped many Apple users by helping them better manage their health and fitness.
Jay Blahnik and his team at Apple Fitness+ are now exploring novel incentive design methods to enhance the Apple Fitness and health experience offering.
The current ‘Burn Bar’ functionality on Apple Fitness+ provides an excellent benchmark for users who want to ensure that they are putting their hearts and souls into their Apple Fitness class.
Apple’s Fitness team is now researching how they can enable a system that allows users to create their own Fitness challenge e-awards and use them for keeping each other motivated.
Completed a challenge successfully? You may get enough e-points to buy something at the app store or even get some form of virtual currency.
Apple’s Fitness+ user-created challenges and awards
According to a new Apple patent, “Fitness Challenge e-awards,” published on April 8, 2021, Apple is pursuing its strategy of leaving no one behind in health and wellness by designing this simple yet effective activity awards system.
- Apple Fitness+ to provide customized exercise and health recommendations in the future
- Apple’s Fitness and Social Accountability designed to leave no one behind
It is a well-known fact that lack of sufficient physical activity can increase the risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, colon cancer, depression and anxiety, obesity, and weak muscles and bones.
Also, recent studies have found that extended periods of inactivity (e.g., sitting at a desk) can lead to serious health risks, such as an increased risk of a heart attack.
While activity monitors today can track the amount of physical activity performed by a user, they fail to motivate users to engage in physical activity.
When users design their own activity rewards, they can include one or more of an amount of physical activity to be performed, a location to be reached, a frequency of engaging in physical activity, meeting a condition within a time constraint, or the like.
- For example, one physical activity goal can require that the invited user burn 200 calories (amount of physical activity to be performed) within the next 3 hours (time constraint).
- Another physical activity goal could require that the invited user goes to the gym (location to be reached) on a specified day (time constraint). OR
- Require the invited user to run at least 3 miles (an amount of physical activity to be performed) for 5 consecutive days within the next week (frequency of engaging in physical activity and a time constraint).
Once you have created your challenge and completed it yourself, you can send it to your friend or loved one to get them going.
A son or daughter will send an image or video as a reward to motivate their father to engage in physical activity.
The reward can include a media file (e.g., an image file, a video file, a music file, or an electronic text document), an electronic message, an amount of virtual currency, a key or passcode for unlocking a service (e.g., use of a television, video game, etc.) located at a remote device, such as a remote server.
According to this Apple patent, another form of reward could include a music file available for purchase or rent from an online media service.
In all these examples, upon successfully completing the physical activity goal, the reward can be given to the second user with the associated fee being charged to the first user.
Essentially this becomes an incentive-driven motivation platform so that you can positively encourage your loved ones to stay fit and healthy. This also allows Apple to sell more of its services to new and existing users.
Either way, if this works well, it has all the bells and whistles to become a Win / Win for both Apple and its loyal customers.
Perhaps we should expect some new incentive-based features as well as health coaching services when Apple showcases its new watchOS and iOS at the upcoming WWDC on June 7th this year.