Lumosity’s Stumble Reveals How We Think About Thinking (BuzzFeed News):
“The ads were pervasive, popping up on CNN, Fox News, NPR, and Google searches. And they were persuasive: Playing Lumosity games would do your brain good…But these claims sounded a little too rosy to the Federal Trade Commission, which cited these and other ads in alleging that Lumos Labs, the maker of Lumosity, preyed on people’s fears with non-scientifically validated claims. Earlier this year, the company settled the charges by paying $2 million into a fund for refunds, though it’s by no means going away or giving up — it has a new CEO at the helm and a plan to create new games and bring on more customers…Lumos Labs’ new CEO, Steve Berkowitz, is not a scientist. He has been the president of IDG Books, the publisher of the Dummies series; an executive at Microsoft; the CEO of Ask.com…This year, Berkowitz said, the team wants to branch out into applied skills like language arts and math and improve the social aspect of the games by making it easy for relatives to share their progress. And for the first time, Lumos Labs may design games to improve wellness factors like mindfulness and sleep…
Fernandez of SharpBrains noted that not all brain-training games are guilty of exaggerated, ill-supported claims. “We have to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater,” he said. “Some people think everything works and some people think nothing works, and the reality, the truth, is something in the middle.”
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Steve Zanon says
Extending the platform into the “Applied Cognitive” space will be a good move by Berkowitz. Building up on the game’s base (core) cognitive skills and actively bridging thinking skills into higher (more complex) domains will go a long way to reducing the transfer controversy. An important strategy for Lumos Labs given their recent FTC issue.