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Jeremy

Wherigo™ Platform on the Garmin Colorado

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Here's the press release. We haven't put this through the wire but I wanted to post it in the forums so you can get our perspective on the launch. We worked closely with Garmin to get the geocaching functionality working on the device in addition to the Wherigo platform. We're hoping as interest in the platform increases we'll continue to get the Wherigo Player on new devices. The flexibility of the platform allows us to port it to most devices that can run C.

 

Here's Garmin's Press Release

 

We'll be demoing the new Garmin Colorado this Sunday in Las Vegas. There's a geocaching event scheduled and we'll have devices on hand.

 

This is part of our overall strategy to provide the best tools to enable you to create location-based adventures in the real world. Adding media to the geocaching experience will just make the activity richer.

 

---

 

SEATTLE, Washington, January 3, 2008 — Groundspeak's Wherigo™, a platform for creating and playing

location-based multimedia experiences in the real world, is now available on Garmin's newest generation

of handheld GPS devices.

 

Using the Wherigo platform, Wherigo authors can build interactive adventure games, historical tours

and other innovative activities for Wherigo players to enjoy outdoors. The Wherigo experience combines

physical and virtual elements, overlaying engaging story lines and useful information onto a real-world

background. Using a Wherigo enabled GPS device, players can visit physical locations, take and use

virtual items, interact with virtual characters and solve real-world puzzles.

 

"Wherigo was created to be the next generation platform for location-based entertainment," said

Jeremy Irish, Groundspeak's President and CEO. "The partnership between Groundspeak and Garmin

demonstrates a commitment to delivering game changing technology for customers. We hope that

Garmin's adoption of the Wherigo platform will inspire GPS enthusiasts around the world to create

new experiences for others to share."

 

The Garmin Colorado™ also includes a comprehensive Geocaching application supporting

Geocaching.com's geocache file format. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played

throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices.

 

Groundspeak and Garmin will be hosting event product demonstrations featuring Wherigo and Geocaching

in January and February, 2008. Learn more at www.Wherigo.com and www.garmin.blogs.com.

 

About Groundspeak

 

Groundspeak, Inc. of Seattle, Washington is a privately held company focused on worldwide location

based entertainment. Groundspeak's portfolio includes Geocaching.com, Waymarking.com and

Wherigo.com.

 

About Garmin

 

Garmin International Inc. is a member of the Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN) group of companies, which

designs and manufactures navigation, communication and information devices — most of which are

enabled by GPS technology. Garmin is a leader in the general aviation and consumer GPS markets and

its products serve aviation, marine, outdoor recreation, automotive, wireless and OEM applications.

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Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I thought that Wherigo cartridges are supposed to have the ability to incorporate sound clips (either now, or in the future). How exactly would the Garmin Colorado handle cartridges with sound? I can see future cartridges relying on audio clues or music for their immersive experience, and on a phone or a PDA that's easily handled. Unless the Colorado has a sound feature that hasn't yet been mentioned, it doesn't seem like a platform that would fully take advantage of the Wherigo model.

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Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I thought that Wherigo cartridges are supposed to have the ability to incorporate sound clips (either now, or in the future). How exactly would the Garmin Colorado handle cartridges with sound? I can see future cartridges relying on audio clues or music for their immersive experience, and on a phone or a PDA that's easily handled. Unless the Colorado has a sound feature that hasn't yet been mentioned, it doesn't seem like a platform that would fully take advantage of the Wherigo model.

 

The Garmin Colorado can play sounds through the piezo speaker - kind of like your computer's beeps. It is true that you can't play wav or mp3 files on the Colorado. We'll be releasing a tool where you can at least create beep sounds through the device.

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Other than sound, could you give a quick ballpark evaluation of how Wherigo might be different on the colorado vs PPC? I have the new player running on my Waypoint, and if I'm going to mess with the builder I would like to know what to look out for, UI-wise. For example, the PPC is mostly point and tap. Wouldn't colorado input be more oriented towards the manipulation of focus via the wheel, and then tap via the center button? I don't want to trot out and spend $600 on a device I don't need, so any cross-platform wisdom would be appreciated.

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For example, the PPC is mostly point and tap. Wouldn't colorado input be more oriented towards the manipulation of focus via the wheel, and then tap via the center button? I don't want to trot out and spend $600 on a device I don't need, so any cross-platform wisdom would be appreciated.

 

The screen size is slightly taller than a standard Pocket PC device. You can see on the Wherigo Player's About Page a screenshot of the interface. The size has been reduced to fit the web page but the aspect ratio is correct.

 

The Colorado does not have a touch screen. You make selections as you have outlined above - and the upper right hand button acts as the "back" button. Right now there is no "home" button but we asked Garmin to include one for the left hand button when there is nothing else there.

 

Other than the fact that the device does not play WAV files the performance should be very similar for an author creating a cartridge. However the variety of Pocket PC devices make it difficult to determine whether the performance will be different between one device or another.

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Other than sound, could you give a quick ballpark evaluation of how Wherigo might be different on the colorado vs PPC?

 

In addition to what Jeremy said, user input is different between the PPC and the Colorado device. Both support multiple choice, numeric, and full alphanumeric input. However, the PPC version uses the built in touchscreen (or hardware keyboard, if your PPC has one) input methods: tap keyboard, block recogniser, letter recogniser, etc. And the Colorado uses the Rock-N-Roll wheel to scroll thru the available characters (alpha, numeric, punctuation, etc). Multiple-choice input is essentially the same between the two devices.

 

The take-away here is to recognise that user input (beyond simple true/false and multiple choice) may be more "challenging" on one device than another. Keeping requested alphanumeric input to a short word or phrase is a recommended best practice.

 

Oh, and I don't recall if it has been mentioned elsewhere or if the Builder warns the cartridge author of this fact, but it is worth pointing out that Wherigo on the Colorado device _only_ supports images in JPEG format, while the PPC version is a bit more forgiving. So if you're testing solely on the emulator or a PPC device, you may be surprised the first time a user reports that some or all images don't display on their Colorado device. Again, the best practice here is to simply ensure that any images you use are pre-converted to JPEG format. At some point the Builder and/or Linker will become smarter about this and handle the necessary translations on the fly. But not in the current version.

 

-peter

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...It is true that you can't play wav or mp3 files on the Colorado.

 

Hmmn. I just updated my cart yesterday with two .wav files (and timers that to cause them to play). it worked fine in the emulator, and I'm guessing it works on a PocketPC. Any ideas what happens when a Colorado tries to play a .wav?

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Hmmn. I just updated my cart yesterday with two .wav files (and timers that to cause them to play). it worked fine in the emulator, and I'm guessing it works on a PocketPC. Any ideas what happens when a Colorado tries to play a .wav?

My guess is Groundspeak filters the waveform play code lines out of the code before the Wherigo site sends you the compiled cartridge for the Colorado. That or the Colorado's player will ignore the line. But, no, the Colorado will not play the sounds.

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Hmmn. I just updated my cart yesterday with two .wav files (and timers that to cause them to play). it worked fine in the emulator, and I'm guessing it works on a PocketPC. Any ideas what happens when a Colorado tries to play a .wav?

My guess is Groundspeak filters the waveform play code lines out of the code before the Wherigo site sends you the compiled cartridge for the Colorado. That or the Colorado's player will ignore the line. But, no, the Colorado will not play the sounds.

 

Double-"Hmmn". Now I'm wondering if I should take out the sounds. I'll probably leave 'em in for the benefit of PocketPC players, knowing that Colorado-types might think something's wrong. Eh, it's almost like writing two different carts. :D:D:laughing:

Edited by JJG10101

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Whatever your decision, please don't build a cartridge that depends entirely on sound. Not only do we have the Colorado to worry about, but also players who are hard of hearing.

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Whatever your decision, please don't build a cartridge that depends entirely on sound. Not only do we have the Colorado to worry about, but also players who are hard of hearing.

 

I'm with ya. I've got two very brief sound files, and when both fire, a message to the player appears summarizing what happened. In other words, I've got a .wav that sounds like a phone ringing, and the message to the player says "It's your boss calling. How's that report coming along?" I'm thinking I should try Jeremy's app that creates tones, that sounds like a good compromise. :unsure::blink::blink:

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I've got another "just-curious" question. On the Wherigo Player FAQ page, there's an image of Wherigo on the Colorado. How was that image created? Is there a Colorado emulator?? Now *that* would be cool. :):huh:;)

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How was that image created?

It's possible to take screen shots on the Colorado itself. Pressing and holding the right soft key will save a screen shot file onto the Colorado's file system. From there, just plug the Colorado into a computer and you'll be able to view the screen shot.

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I'll go buy a Garmin Colorado as soon as it integrates with my Laser Tag helmet and gun, allowing me to see a Heads Up Display (HUD) as I run through the forests shooting digital squirrels...

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