Get ready America: the 2012 Olympics are about to begin! That’s right, in one week, the Summer Olympics are set to kick off in London, England and it’s attracting a lot of attention, at least from a technology standpoint. Whether it’s about their use about social media for its athletes or how it’s rumored to be the most social in the history of the Olympiad, or anything else, there’s a whole lot going on with this historic event.
But the Olympics are much more than just sports. It’s also about building a better community and to do some charitable good. This year is no different and even the tech community is getting involved with one of the Olympic’s global events to help promote tolerance, peace, and fitness in the world.
Known as the “Walk A Mile” event, this campaign is supported by the 2012 London Olympics and also the US State Department’s Hours Against Hate tolerance campaign designed to help showcase the potential of young people to change the world. To help promote the “Walk A Mile” event, InterAmerican Gaming, in partnership with Dave Stewart, Rock-it Media, Kiip Rewards, PayPal, and Xtreme Labs, just announced the release of their new fitness mobile application, SoFit.
Available for both the iPhone and Android devices, SoFit is a fitness social gaming application that will help get you more active. Sure, working out by yourself is productive, but chances are that you’ll be more encouraged to work out simply by having a buddy or a friend alongside you or competing against you. Fundamentally you’re going to post your own records over how much time you’ve spent running and calories burned over the course of a period of time. Leveraging your phone’s GPS to determine your distance, SoFit is basically a pedometer, but enhanced so that it can communicate with other devices and, at the same time, offer you encouragement and actual tangible rewards.
You can either work on your cardio by yourself or by competing against others. Either way, the more you track your activities, the greater the chance you can earn enough points to be able to redeem them for actual prizes. Not only that, but you should be able to earn cash that will go towards a charity of your choice! It’s a win-win situation, right? You get in shape and earn some prize while helping to raise funds for a worthwhile charity organization. It’s the spirit of the Olympic games!
So how does a major application like this get powered? Well through a Silicon Valley-based startup named Kiip. Started by former Digg business development go-to guy, Brian Wong, Kiip is a new way to disrupt the mobile advertising model, or rather a mobile rewards network. Essentially it’ll give you real rewards for your virtual achievements. In this case, the virtual achievements are the records you rack up on SoFit. But the fulfillment of those prize redemptions will be handled by Kiip. Says Mr. Wong: “With the integration of the global Walk A Mile movement, we are confident that SoFit will quickly catch on in the marketplace and provide a compelling motivator for individuals to meet their fitness goals. We look forward to helping provide rewards for its users in their moments of happiness as they improve their personal fitness and reach specific notable milestones.”
Now what about those donations? Where exactly are they coming from? SoFit has integrated the services of PayPal to help process all transactions to the appropriate charity. That way you and the charity you chose, will both know that it’s coming from a reliable and secure source–peace of mind.
No word yet on what the specific prizes are for the SoFit mobile application or even what charities are listed that people could donate with. However, it does seem that there are monthly drawings/sweepstakes orchestrated through SoFit whereby, dependent on the number of times you workout each week through the app, you could be entered into a monthly drawing–the more you workout, the more chances you have to win. But the details are still a bit vague on the website. In fact, as I look through the SoFit website, it’s pretty sparse on a bunch of other things. The support page simply lists a contact form and the Points page is still under construction. Nevertheless, visitors to the site can still download the application and have fun with it.
So go download SoFit. Put on your running shoes and challenge your friends in a race around the city. Get healthy, win some prizes, and raise some money for a worthwhile charity and help make a better society.
Image Credit: InterAmerican Gaming