FREDERICTON – Sapien has launched its Lightdogs app, which allows people to collect virtual pets to help them stay off their phones, on the Apple app store.
This is the company’s first product.
“We’re feeling great about [the] launch! It’s really cool to have strangers from all over the world using this thing we built,” says Sapien founder Cam Crain in an e-mail to Huddle. “I’m especially excited to see the way users are popping up in clusters in different locations. It’s obviously very early, but it seems to be spreading by word of mouth, which is what you want.”
The idea for the app stemmed from Crain’s concerns about the impact of spending too much time on smartphones.
Lightdogs, he said, is kind of like “Pokémon Go meets with Focus Timer.”
Users can earn points by staying off of their phones for the time they’ve set. The points can then be used to build a collection of virtual dogs called Lightdogs that they can evolve and breed. But if they leave the app before the timer’s done, they lose the points.
“One of our top metrics is ‘Unplugged Time,’ how much time all of our users have spent unplugged from their phones, and we’ll be working hard to keep that increasing all the time,” Crain said.
Now, he’s focused on getting Lightdogs to as many users as possible.
“We’re really excited about what people will do with all the time they free up. Soon we’ll be getting to work on Lightdogs for Android to serve the other half of the market. And of course, we’ll be constantly adding new breeds and features to make unplugging as easy and fun as possible,” he said.
The app is free to download and doesn’t have blocked features for premium users. Sapien has the backing of investors like Gerry Pond.