Ever been called a Couch Potato for lounging around?
Well, now you can know exactly how much time you’ve been inactive — though I’m not entirely sure why you want this statistic. At any rate, the Couch Potato app aims to be the anti-step tracker that rewards you for lounging. Maybe it’s kind of nice that an app encourages you to chill out with no shame?
The app is only available for iOS users via the App Store, sorry Android users.
Couch Potato is made by Burrow, a couch company for the modern world — think Casper mattresses but for a sofa, loveseats, and ottomans. The app might be an advertising stunt, but it ends up succeeding in two unlikely ways.
First, it hits back against the recent time well-spent activity tracking movement from Silicon Valley. (Google and Apple are both adding in activity tracks, with Facebook and Instagram rolling out similar ones.)
Second, for a marketing stunt, there was some effort put into Couch Potato. The on-boarding process is simple: Just launch and permit it to access your motion and fitness activity data. It uses the accelerometer inside your iPhone to track movement.
The interface is pretty bare bones, but the app gamifies the experience like any good tracker. You start off on Level 1, aka Tater Tot, and move all the way up to Level 5, a Mash Monster — and yes, this is something you should aspire to be. As more inactivity is tracked, your potato stem grows larger with more leaves, and the ottoman gets swapped out for a chair.
This is all strangely satisfying. I made up to Level 2, Small Fry, after just over 2 hours of inactivity.
For downloading the app and automatically reaching the first level, users are offered a 15% discount at Vinebox. For Level 2 my reward changed to $50 off a purchase of $1,000 or more from Burrow, and just like that, the advertising reference comes full circle.
The app doesn’t appear to be tracking your data — the only thing it has access to is motion. The tracking itself goes by days, and shows how many hours you were inactive. Shaking your phone with the app open gets a “detecting motion” pop-up to appear. I could see a culture growing around the app; it would be cool for a community feature to be added in. I’ll update this post to report whether you move down a level if you have less inactive hours — although considering this app encourages inactivity, I doubt it would shame users for not doing it.
Couch Potato doesn’t innovate; it merely tracks when your phone isn’t moving. But then again, is this app trying to be anything more?