Mixing personal privacy and gamification. Meet Ben the Bodyguard

Where's the boundary that separates apps from games? Would you even consider handing your private data to a mysterious comic character? This could be the limit a developer has found to create one of the most bizarre mash-ups in the App Store with the permission of Supermono's EpicWin. If you saw the amazing promotional website some time ago, you should now he is now after you.

Ben the Bodyguard [iTunes Link] by Nerd Communications is a personal information manager that keeps sensitive information private on your iPhone. Layered with dark comic look and some jokes about French people, this app is like no other in its category.

After that fantastic teaser website you probably have seen, all the story is unveiled when you first launch the app. A video explains the background and past assignments of Benoît, your new personal bodyguard. Just like a celeb, now you can call him any time you need to handle all your private stuff.

 From managing passwords to keeping notes secret, everything you do with Ben is protected with a password. As you would expect, most of the functionality in the iPhone's default apps is replicated here, making it a useful and secure stop to avoid losing compromising information.

Let's say you want to take private pictures. Enter the app, use the built-in camera function and those pics won't appear on the camera roll. The same goes for reminders, a place where to keep your discrete meetings. 

If this wasn't enough, Ben the Bodyguard also uses a secret phone function, which allows you  to store numbers away from the dangerous contact list on the iPhone's default phone app. However, if you call someone from the list, it will appear on the recent call tabs, which will need to be cleared. I thought a guy like Ben would understand that a clear recent call list is too suspicious...

All the data entered on your device will be encrypted, so every time you sync to iTunes, these details will move to your desktop too, using the same encryption as in the app. Also, the app packs in a password generator to create secure combinations.

The App Store has a good collection password managers and safe wallet apps such as 1Password or DataVault. From the moment you launch it, it's difficult to take Ben seriously, since the character keeps making fun comments and greeting you with a strong French accent. I wonder if this could be a drawback for the more serious crowd, but perhaps these type of software needs something new after all.

Ben the Bodyguard is an imaginative app that will delight users for it's high production value and combination of features under the same hood: a secure encrypted area for your sensitive information. The visual treatment inspired by comic does the job perfectly and brings fresh air to a corner in the App Store that has traditionally been quite boring. Does it deliver the goods? 

Like all of its competitors, only time will give it credentials, but at least users have a reason to check it out. You don't get this level of creativity everyday, and even if I think the gamification mix is too extreme, Ben the Bodyguard is worth checking out.