Gamified social change: S-Drive

How do you get teens to drive more safely? By making it a game. At least that’s the theory behind Samsung’s new S-Drive app.

The mobile app – currently in beta across Newcastle, Australia – measures and rewards safe driving using GPS data.  The better or safer the driving, the more rewards the driver can accumulate. This can range from fuel cards to Samsung gadgets and snow weekends here in NZ. The app also encourages social engagement and sharing with the creation of ‘drive teams’ where special team prizes such as festival and rugby game tickets can be won.

It does all this while also disabling the phone to stop drivers from being tempted to text and drive.

Gamification to drive social change isn’t new; whether getting children to take more exercise (Zamzee), use power more efficiently (Opower) or donate more to charity (freerice) the principles of gamification have been used effectively to engage on a variety of issues. But what we love about S-Drive is that it turns an everyday activity into a game, changing behaviour through involvement rather than message comprehension.

While testing and trialling is currently limited to the Newcastle area, Samsung is reportedly hoping to extend this to the entire country and potentially globally.

Check-out a video of S-Drive here:

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Date: April 01, 2014