Finland is not having a whole lot of luck with technology in recent months. Last year, Microsoft purchased Nokia’s Devices & Services unit, which initially looked hopeful; unfortunately, in July of this year, they announced the slashing of 18,000 jobs, more than half of which were intended to be in the Nokia division. A large number of the lost positions were those at the Nokia site in the city of Oulu. Worse, shortly after Microsoft announced their intention to end operations in Oulu, wireless modem maker Broadcom made a similar announcement – it would cease making connectivity chips in Finland. This decision resulted in the loss of another 600 jobs, most of them in Oulu.
The loss of these two companies is being felt keenly by the people of Oulu, but a new indie start-up hopes to start a change in the right direction. Mekiwi Ltd., based out of Oulu, is working hard to launch their first app, Wimble, in Autumn 2014.
Wimble is a time-management app being designed for Android. Its offerings include a personal calendar to track your schedule, a to-do list generator, and a personalized note-taking system that allows you to make notes in the way you find most comfortable – typing, taking photos, or making voice recordings. It also has a “smart tasks” feature, which works with the calendar, and the ability to customize your user experience with varying themes and extensions. Unlike many other time-management apps, Wimble will work whether your device is connected to the internet or not. It will be free to download, though an in-app store will allow users to purchase additional features for maximum productivity.
What does this have to do with indie games? Well, what makes Wimble particularly interesting is the way it incorporates a sense of playfulness into your daily regimen. It monitors your activity and rewards you for being productive. (Part of a process known as gamification.) It features an internal ranking system and an in-app activity measurement system, becoming something of a pocket-sized personal trainer. Instead of merely tracking tasks for you and reminding you to do them, it makes the organization into something of a game, and the reward system provides motivation to keep accomplishing your goals.
Wimble will be released for Android on October 24th, but the developers would like to make it available to iOS and Windows Phone users as well. To that end, they have launched an IndieGoGo campaign, which is running through September 7th, in order to raise the necessary funds. Their base goal is $50,000 USD, which will allow them to release Wimble for iOS; stretch goals will then permit them to extend it to Windows phone, the web, and even smart watches. They also would like, down the road, to add an instant messaging feature, and even the ability to read stories through Wimble as a productivity reward.