Deutsche Telekom is taking its "Life's for Sharing" platform to a whole new level with the launch of a mobile game that encourages people all over the world to help in the fight against dementia.
"Sea Hero Quest" is an animated game aimed at all ages, in which a son helps his explorer father recover his memories by retracing the old man's seafaring adventures, battling incredible creatures and hostile weather along the way.
As players work their way through the levels of the game, data on their navigation techniques will be collected and used to create a global map of how the normal human brain works. One of the first signs of dementia is losing the ability to find your way around, so scientists will be able to use the information to help identify what goes wrong at the onset of dementia.
The idea came from Saatchi & Saatchi London, which previously created a Royal Wedding spoof and a dance flashmob -- as well as a real-life Angry Birds game -- for Deutsche Telekom. Saatchi worked with game developer Glitchers, University College London and Alzheimer's Research, to develop the Sea Hero Quest game.
Hans-Christian Schwingen, chief brand officer at Deutsche Telekom, said in a statement, "Scientists' lack of data is slowing down research. We thought maybe we could look at this problem from a different angle [Sea Quest] is a total reinvention of the way this kind of research data is collected, stored and accessed. It's not just engaging --it's scientifically valid and above all, secure."
All the data is anonymous, and players can choose whether or not to supply information on age, gender and location. If 100,000 people play for two minutes, with data gathered twice a second, they will generate the equivalent of 57 years' worth of traditional lab-based research, according to UCL. Deutsche Telekom has 200 million users worldwide.
Mr. Schwingen added in the statement, "We believe that it is our responsibility, as one of Europe's largest telecommunication companies, to consistently challenge ourselves to find new ways to harness the power of our network and our services for the greater good."
"Sea Hero Quest" is free on the App Store and Google Play.