Turning meals into a fun game

Those who have a child know that feeding it can turn into a real war. Those who does not, could probably hear this drama in a restaurants or friends’ houses etc.  In Argentina they decided to do something about it and came up with a weapon for these eating tragedies. They combined the reluctance to meals with unconditional love for games and what they received was this:

yumit-5

Yumit, an interactive plate designed  by Wunderman, that convinces kids to consume by converting what they eat into virtual energy that can be used for upgrades and extras on mobile games. Meals are weighed in real time, with an inbuilt sensor detecting how much food the child is eating. The more the kid will eat, the more ‘virtual energy’ it will receive, and then can use this energy in games. The plate has a LED display that keeps children informed of how many fun games they’ve unlocked, which turns the boring routine of eating into fun experience. The sets will be available in different colours. What is also important, you can wash it in a dishwasher.

The invention could be pretty powerful if it was integrated into popular games but in this moment there are not many games that the child could play using extra points from eating.

I am wondering if the children will really enjoy eating spinach which they hate, to get some points. Maybe producers are not aware that kids are really intelligent and they will understand pretty fast that they just have to remove food from the plate which does not really mean they will put it in their mouth… Parents control will be still inevitable, and arguments about the virtual points can become a new reality.

The Yumit plate is not on sales yet but you can make a pre-order on their website http://www.yumit.io/ if you really believe that this can work with your kid.

Sources:

http://www.yumit.io/

http://www.springwise.com/smartplate-lets-kids-earn-virtual-currency-eating/

http://www.wired.com/2015/09/an-interactive-plate-that-turns-your-kids-meal-into-a-game/

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5 thoughts on “Turning meals into a fun game

  1. nataliafigas nataliafigas says:

    Yumit changes eating into entertainment. So if children eat something and no one reward it…they won’t be eating anymore? New technology can’t raise our children.

    But I like the idea that LOL gamers sit in front of their computers and eat a meal to get extra experience points. Riot should make a contract with some food distributor 😀

  2. filipgrudzewski filipgrudzewski says:

    I agree with Natalia – it might be dangerous. Even more because now children are too much addicted to games and electronic devices. I can see it on my step-nephew. Last Christmas I couldn’t hold him to help me with puzzles because of the iPad and when I finally forced him to draw something he drew Christmas tree with Angry Birds on it… I think producers should think more about what they’re offering espeially if it comes to the children.

  3. bergman.wendy bergman.wendy says:

    I really like the idea it could assist a difficult child. However I agree with Natalia that this might potentially cause a much bigger problem. I don’t think that many children have really big issues with eating in general but eating the right products. Perhaps we should think how to make eating healthy fun – perhaps having an element of feeding the character and you get extra points for making the right choices?

  4. Catherine Świątek Catherine Świątek says:

    The idea is very creative, however, I agree with all of you. What is more, it actually scares me that we “gamificate” even such activities like eating… What are we going to do next? Gamificate the activity of peeing in toilet, blowing nose etc.? What kind of message it would be for the kids? That everything has to be fun and if it is not fun you do not have to do it? I think technology can be very useful but we have to be careful to what extend we let the technology come into our lives.

  5. swieboda1990 says:

    My comment is from a bit different perspective. As it might encourage to eat it might as well not do that because of economic reason. The game itself needs to be attractive for the kid and I do not suppose that the are going to make very good games or partner with big producers it might be hard to attract children. When all his/her friends are playing a certain game on a tablet he/she will want to play the same game and not the one proposed by the “Magic Plate”. The only other idea I have is to convert eaten food into actual time of usage of a tablet or phone which does not limit the potential games played or clips played via YouTube.

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