Ryan Norris, vice president of technology at software and services company Medullan, plans to do exactly that.
At the November 2012 NFC Forum Hackathon, his
team designed an NFC application called Gratify, which aims to steer consumers toward healthier habits by offering rewards for healthy behavior.
cited the psychological model of habits as the product of cues, reinforced by rewards until the behavior becomes routine; Gratify is intended to provide different cues and rewards, leading users to develop healthier routines.
"Typically the model with applications of health and wellness devices is that there's this desire to be healthier, and because of that I'm going to engage in healthier activities, and the reward is that I'm going to be healthier," he
"It's not necessarily that simple.
Instead, Gratify will offer users a more immediate reward.
When Gratify users tap their smartphones to an NFC tag at a coffee shop, bakery, or convenience store, they will be prompted to complete a specified amount of physical activity within a specified time period; if they complete the activity and return to the store in time, they receive a reward.
For instance, said Norris
, "if I run four miles within two days and come back, I get a free coffee."
The reward for retailers in this scenario would be increased consumer loyalty, along with the ability to market themselves as healthier options for consumers, said Norris
Retailers could incorporate Gratify into their existing loyalty programs, and the NFC check in could be part of contactless payment at the point of sale.
team prototyped the application during the hackathon, and he
said, "we're still experimenting with it as a business concept.