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Badgeville SDK Takes Gamification Mobile

Software developer kit for iOS and Android will aid phone and tablet native app developers.

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Badgeville introduced a mobile gamification software developer's kit Tuesday, aiming to make it easier for the developers of native iOS or Android apps to incorporate behavior reinforcement techniques.

"If a brand or a company has a mobile experience, this allows them to add gamification to that in order to drive adoption," Badgeville CEO Kris Duggan said in an interview. While the company already has 20 or so customers creating mobile apps using the more basic application programming interfaces to the web-based service, according to Duggan, the new SDKs mean developers won't have to code as many features from scratch. For example, the iOS SDK provides a standard way of tying into the iOS notification service used to alert iPhone users of application events.

Badgeville is one of a handful of specialists in using game-like techniques to track and reward behaviors in a social way, keeping score and displaying customized badges for achievement. The software-as-a-service platform can be embedded in other applications or websites, and Duggan said he is seeing increased interest in incorporating it in enterprise applications as well as consumer ones.

With the mobile SDK, "we can track, measure, and influence behavior across all the experiences a brand offers," Duggan said.

[ Why is gamification a big deal? See Enterprise Gamification Ready To Make The Collaborative Dream Real.]

Gamification is more advanced on the web than in mobile applications, despite the rise of mobile gaming for entertainment, Duggan said. Gamification techniques are often cited as an element of the success of Foursquare, which lets people gain bragging rights for all the places they've checked in, and DoubleDutch has tried to duplicate that success with a customizable check-in application for the enterprise, particularly for customer relationship management. However, Duggan dismisses that as "limited to the behavior of checking in--we are not limited to any one behavior."

Dell gamified its user conference using technology from Badgeville competitor Big Door Media, but the client experience was custom-designed in that instance. Duggan said following that experiment, Badgeville won a bigger contract with Dell to provide an enterprise platform for gamification.

One of the early enterprise applications of Badgeville in a mobile app is from Deloitte Digital, a branch of the global consulting firm focused on social and mobile technology to improve the modern workplace.

“We have been impressed by Badgeville’s ease of use and flexibility in deploying Who What Where, a program to connect our consultants when they’re on the go,” Frank Farrall, leader of Deloitte's online practice, said in a prepared statement. “With Badgeville, we were able to create a robust proprietary geo-location service, and reward check-ins, for our team. This program was extremely easy to get up and running, and enables us to not only reward our people for checking in at locations, but also to surface expertise.”

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 26-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.

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