You could earn free food or discounts on Penn State gear just by staying off your phone while you’re in class.
Emily Turner, a sophomore Penn State student, helped develop an app called Pocket Points that rewards its users for keeping their phones away during class time.
The app recognizes when your phone is in a classroom on campus. In order to start earning points, all you need to do is open the app at the start of class and then lock your phone. You will accumulate points for as long as your phone stays locked.
Once you rack up enough points, you can use them for discounts and rewards at businesses downtown, including D.P. Dough, Rotelli, Bradley’s Cheesesteaks and Hoagies, Dwellings Boutique, the Student Bookstore, and more. For example, 10 points gets you a 15 percent discount off any Penn State apparel at the Student Bookstore, or 15 points could get you two free cookies at Pita Pit. Turner said more downtown businesses are in the process of being added to the app in the near future.
It takes about 20 minutes to earn one point, but there is potential to gather points faster. The more students who are using it on campus at the same time, the faster the points add up.
Pocket Points was first developed by one of Turner’s friends, who goes to California State University, Chico, which is apparently a school that actually exists. After the app took off, Turner’s friend approached her to help develop the app for Penn State. According to Turner, Pocket Points already has about 1,000 downloads in Happy Valley.
The app is only developed for these two campuses right now, but is set to launch at other schools around the country soon. You can download the app here.
Photo: Valley Magazine