Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).
Google Powermeter, a service from Google.org to help you converse electricity (note: unless you are getting your power from one of three providers in the world, you’ll have to purchase a third-party – and expensive – device to use this service), has added personalize recommendations and game mechanics a-la-Foursquare to try to spur people into saving power, by introducing badges earned by carrying out the recommendations.
We’ve got to say, this is certainly taking game mechanics to an entirely new place.
You’d be forgiven if you mistook a post on the Google.org blog today as a post on the Foursquare blog:
“Collecting badges is a fun way of keeping track of your accomplishments to reduce energy waste and save money. And you might even strike up some friendly competition among family and friends to see who can collect the most badges the fastest!”
Of course, it’s great that Google is doing everything that it can to help people conserve power, but from a services perspective, it will be extremely interesting to see if giving badges to users in this context actually works. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere to find out exactly what all of the badges are, but in the screenshot provided by Google below, you’ll see two gold badges: one that looks like a thermometer and one that has a TV in it (we have no idea what recommendation either badge corresponds to):
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