Want Free Pizza, College Students? Download This App … And Then 'Don’t' Check Your Phone
Tinder, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Facebook, Candy Crush ... how is a college student supposed to sit in a lecture hall and take class notes while a whole world of entertainment and distractions is sitting in their pocket?
Ironically, a new app may have found the answer. Your smartphone is begging to be tapped, but Pocket Points offers college kids free food if they don't check their phones during class.
The execution is pretty simple: you activate the app when you get to class -- and the longer you leave your phone locked, the more points you get. Those points can then be used as currency at participating restaurants on campus.
And for anyone trying to game the system by leaving it running while sitting in a dorm playing "Call of Duty," it uses location services to confirm you're actually in a classroom.
There's also an incentive to get fellow students focusing. Roughly 20 minutes of inactivity earns one point on the app, but the more students who are using it on campus simultaneously, the faster they all earn points.
Pocket Points was first developed by a student at California State University Chico, and a Penn State sophomore was brought on to help launch it in Happy Valley, according to Onward State. The program is currently in use at those two schools, as well as Cal Poly SLO, University of Michigan, University of Arizona, SDSU, and Boulder Colorado University, with plans to expand elsewhere. Turner says about 1,000 students have downloaded it at Penn State.
So yes, an app that wants you to ignore your phone seems counterintuitive from a business standpoint, but remember, college students will do nearly anything for free food (or free t-shirts), so it's probably going to be a smashing success.