The makers of a new smartphone app are hoping the elusive Sasquatch will draw visitors to Mission and in the process spend a few bucks at local businesses.
Well, perhaps not the real Sasquatch. Legend Tracker, a new app available at iTunes, is an interactive geocaching game designed to bring visitors to Mission businesses as they search for local “legends,” collecting gold coins and tools to help them along the way.
The app is part GPS, part video game, and part social media, explained Play Mobility inventors Tammy Meyers and Miles Marziani, at the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce Monday.
“Everyone has a different experience that they want to get out of it,” said Meyers, adding this is an app that isn’t just played in the home, it gets families out and about as they search for legends.
Although there are about 1,200 legends worldwide, it will take some time to add them all. For now, Legend Tracker has legends like the Sasquatch for the Fraser Valley and Ogopogo for the Okanagan, with businesses already signed up to be a part of the gaming experience.
Businesses can register with Legend Tracker to be an official “treasure marker”, which not only promotes the business on the interactive map, but gets potential customers to visit. The idea has so far convinced Canadian Tire in Mission to come on board.
“Smartphones put fully interactive digital billboards in your pocket,” said Meyers, who provided statistics indicating traditional forms of advertising are declining with the rise of hand-held computers.
Marziani said that users will find it fun to not only collect “treasure” and gain rewards, but provide families something they can do together.
Once a user finds a treasure marker, they can scan it with the app and it will appear on their device in 3D using a special interactive “augmented reality technology” function. That treasure marker can be custom designed to fit the business.
“Legend Tracker isn’t just about people tracking legends, but businesses tracking people,” said Marziani.
The app can also work as a straight-up ecommerce tool as well, since partnering businesses can feature “legendary deals,” providing discounts and special offers to customers who visit the business through the app’s recommendation.
The gaming function becomes more interactive as more people download the app, since more people are competing for treasure and looking for the legend. Marziani has also programmed in enemy eagles who swoop down and try and steal your gold coins.
Ultimately, the inventors believe businesses can offer a grand prize to winners who capture a legend. But doing that isn’t as easy as it sounds, since the virtual Sasquatch is constantly moving.
Legend Tracker is available now on iTunes for iPhone and Android. Visit www.legendtracker.com for pictures and information.