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Augmented Reality ans Geocaching

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I’m currently figuring out how I can combine an augmented reality app with a geocache. I think this could be a great way to enhance a geocache. 

I love it when a cache has a great story to tell, not the find but the journey excites me. The tools to develop the app aren’t free unfortunately. I would like to ask you guys and girls if this is something you would like to do.

The idea that I have is a multi where you’ll find different mysterious signs that you can scan with the app. Once you’ve scanned the tag another piece of the adventure will appear. This can be a puzzle, image, text or movie.

My oher question was, is this allowed in a geocache? Can you publish a cache that depends on an app or does a cache have to be “app-less” 

I’d love to hear from you guys what you think of the idea. 

Thanks, Patrick 

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I don't have answers to your questions, but what you propose sounds like a hybrid of Wherigo and Pokemon Go. Both were "flashes in the frypan" which took off with a bang but over time didn't retain their popularity.

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Bear in mind that you should not ask the geocachers to use third party apps (not directly related with geocaching) to be able to search and/or find any cache.

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24 minutes ago, alandb said:

I don't have answers to your questions, but what you propose sounds like a hybrid of Wherigo and Pokemon Go. Both were "flashes in the frypan" which took off with a bang but over time didn't retain their popularity.

The decline of Wherigo is all on Groundspeak. They did not continue to develop the tools for users to easily create and play cartridges. The result was a builder program that is still in alpha release (for windows only) and abandoned before it was fully realized and ported to other platforms.

Had it been improved, Garmin would have continued developing its Wherigo player in its lines of handheld GPS

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32 minutes ago, Mineral2 said:

The decline of Wherigo is all on Groundspeak. They did not continue to develop the tools for users to easily create and play cartridges. The result was a builder program that is still in alpha release (for windows only) and abandoned before it was fully realized and ported to other platforms.

Had it been improved, Garmin would have continued developing its Wherigo player in its lines of handheld GPS

I personally really like the Wherigo concept and wish it were more aggressively developed by Groundspeak....

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1 hour ago, RuideAlmeida said:

Bear in mind that you should not ask the geocachers to use third party apps (not directly related with geocaching) to be able to search and/or find any cache.

Just to clarify, have the guidelines been updated to discourage the use of any third party apps? I was always under the impression that app use was allowed, as long as it didn't require the use of a specific app. For example, a puzzle could say that you'd need to use a QR code scanning app, but couldn't say "You should use Great QR Scanner®". So, in the case of the OP where only a single app would do the job, it wouldn't be allowed. Am I wrong?

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23 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

Just to clarify, have the guidelines been updated to discourage the use of any third party apps? I was always under the impression that app use was allowed, as long as it didn't require the use of a specific app. For example, a puzzle could say that you'd need to use a QR code scanning app, but couldn't say "You should use Great QR Scanner®". So, in the case of the OP where only a single app would do the job, it wouldn't be allowed. Am I wrong?

I'm curious as well, as we did a few multis where stages had a QR code in place.  Most were replacements for stages that had containers frequently turn up missing.  Some odd reason, no one bothered the stickers.  One of the few reasons I even had a phone.     :)

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2 hours ago, PinEnPap said:

Can you publish a cache that depends on an app or does a cache have to be “app-less”?

If I understand your idea correctly, I believe some part of your multi will require adequate GPS usage to conform to guidelines.  That's explained in the "hiding a cache" section in the Geocaching Guidelines.  

I couldn't find the mention of QR codes in the File formats and links in geocache pages (again in the Guidelines), so maybe a email to HQ  is worth a shot.  The Help Center now says, "We review each cache page on its own merits" of  technology on cache pages, and they need to  consider if it is appropriate for the site.

We've done some that had waypoints we had to project to stages (instead of the direct coordinates for those stages supplied to the Reviewer), and I'd think a QR code would work for that as well.   :)

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There's been no substantive change in the relevant listing guidelines as a result of the recent guidelines update.  Please see the Listing Guideline sections on Third Party Content, Downloads and Website Registration, as well as the related Help Center article.

Installing an app on a smartphone is treated as a "download." 

There are exceptions to the linked guidance.  For example, links to a YouTube video are permissible.  The "Intercache" is an example of a  permitted exception to the general prohibition of caches that require a certain smartphone app or website interface in order to be found.

QR codes are an exception so long as no particular QR code reader is required in order to find the cache.  There are free website alternatives, for example.

By definition, there is no exception for the OP's proposed app.

Edited by Keystone
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Yeah generally the way I understood it is if it's a technology that's generally accessible without specifics via internet, then it's allowable. Generally. An alternative would be to provide at least two methods of 'solving' the puzzle - encourage people to use the intended mechanism/tool, but for those that can't or wont', have a pretty much universally accepted puzzle (of whatever difficulty, but generally in line with the D you intend with the specific tool) as an alternate method that no one is 'restricted' from using (sans 3rd party app).

Build that AR app. But provide an alternate allowable puzzle.  That's what I'd recommend.

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On 29-9-2017 at 3:10 PM, thebruce0 said:

Build that AR app. But provide an alternate allowable puzzle.  That's what I'd recommend.

That seems to be the safest way to go. But just like @Atlas Cached I really love the Wherigo concept and love to see this evolve. I'll have to see if I can think of something. Maybe I can develop something that can run inside a browser. 

Thanks for your replies and I'll start thinking about the possiblilities. 

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