Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gamification: Bringing social change via Mobile technology

Indian government's decision to implement a scheme to give a mobile phone with free talk time to every poor family living below poverty line drew a lot of flak and with a country already having a high density telecom penetration, there is a need to use this technology for better purpose rather than just spending money over such schemes.

mPowering is an American non profit organisation who has partnered with a charity organization by the name Citta in Orissa, they chose a village Juanga in Odisha which has a population of around 3,000 people, most of them farmers earning less than $2 per day, with no access to basic facilities like healthcare, drinking water, electricity, food and infrastructure.

56 families were handed a smartphone with apps made in local language which they use to collect points for their kids attending school, mother's attending preventive healthcare classes and in turn they redeem these points collected for  food, clothes and medicine. This concept of rewards and incentives has reaped good results for the programme.

71% children attended school compared to 52% last year, mPowering has being founded by ex-Apple boss Jeff Martin, you can read more about this article here from and take a look at some videos that explain the impact of this program.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Are you ready to pop the RED pill?

A scientist - Rich Terrile, who is the director of the Center for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory claims we are all living our lives in a simulated computer program of some future programmer, he relates to the scale of virtual worlds we are able to create in a game and control each and every aspect of the game the way we want, probably there could be a world of intelligent machines somewhere, if not exactly aliens maybe some oracle who could be controlling our current version of world as we see it all around us.

We believe universe is infinite in nature, but it is still made up of finite components and as he quotes "What I find intriguing is, if there is a creator, and there will be a creator in the future and it will be us, this also means if there’s a creator for our world, here, it’s also us. This means we are both God and servants of God"
It my seem like a crazy thought, however if we look back at our lives we are conditioned and groomed to behave in a certain way, react in specific ways to emotions and situations, some we learn from our past experience and some traits that we pick from our surroundings. You have to study, get a job, get married, have kids which is a kind of prophecy we have to meet in any normal scenario. 

You cannot just over rule authority all present all around you, we are supposed to own materialistic stuff to be happy and be religious etc.. etc.. to show you are a nice person all these expectations lead you to fit your life in a stereotype box from which you may never be able to get out. So aren't we already leading a life of some simulator which has set rules, laws in short in the gaming world even if you are playing a sandbox game you cannot make you character run around freely everywhere, No one would commend you in your entire life for following these set social norms, only when you break the pattern you get noticed like some rogue program gone free which has to be brought back to where it belonged.

Read more about this article from, maybe we do not have the choice to avoid the blue pill and even if we know the reality, it takes a lot of guts to break away from what is known and walk the path of unknown.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chevrolet Beat 2013 launch campaign

Chevrolet is running an ad campaign for promoting the launch of 2013 Spark, branded as Beat in India. Hatchback cars are not so popular in USA, however the launch campaign seems pretty impressive and General Motors seems to have designed the ad campaign as "we are importing our export" and loved by lot of car enthusiasts, I can certainly vouch for that claim!

Check out this infographic which compares Chevrolet Spark with a mid sized 1973 sedan from USA, which is an attempt to change the image of "bigger the better" which applies to car buying trend which consumers in USA have stuck to for quiet long time.

I saw another promotional content on GM Canada portal which reads as "The World through the Windshield of a Mini-Car" which has a high-res image outlining global presence of Chevrolet's Spark in various countries. Link to this page here

I liked the front grill design of the 2013 Spark and the infotainment features that come equipped with the new model brings in additional appeal to the futuristic design of this car which is still fresh, hope Chevy thinks about a pepped up version for Indian markets to soon, and yes the new alloys are definitely drool worthy.

Check out the advertisement campaign uploaded by Chevrolet on their YouTube channel