TOKYO – Suda Lab, a creative laboratory of Hakuhodo Inc., Japan’s second largest advertising company, has developed Dig-Log, a new IoT device that visualizes the amount of energy expended in shoveling snow and uses gamification to make this menial task fun to keep doing. Dig-Log is Suda Lab’s fourth project.
The product of a collaboration between Suda Lab, the HACKist team of Hakuhodo DY Group company Hakuhodo i-studio, and Professor Seiji Kamimura of the School of Engineering at Nagaoka University of Technology, located in the Niigata Prefecture snowbelt, Dig-Log is a pressure sensor-fitted IoT device that can be attached to existing snow shovels. It calculates the weight of shoveled snow and calories burned, and records the data in visual form in a dedicated smartphone app.
The gadget fosters a sense of purpose and achievement, and through competition with other users, etc., provides extra motivation, turning what was once dreary hard labor into a fun game like winter sport. It is hoped that making snow shoveling fun will help solve the shortage of people willing to do the work in Japan’s snow-bound regions in recent years as those who have done the shoveling until now have grown older.
Dig-Log will be on hands-on display at the Hakuhodo booth at the South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016 Trade Show, a technology startup event taking place from March 13 in Texas, USA. In addition to approaching people from other parts of the world that have the same trouble with snow, Suda Lab is working to add value to snow shoveling as a new winter sport.
Leveraging the creativity and skills of Hakuhodo’s creative staff and internal and external networks honed over many years, Suda Lab’s primary focus is independent development work that takes cutting edge ideas from the drawing board to the real world. Once developed, Suda Lab proposes these ideas to all kinds of companies and society in general.