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noncentric

Adventure Lab - new app for Lab Caches

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Surprised that no one else has yet mentioned the new app for Lab Caches:  Adventure Lab   (iOS / Android)

 

One thing I think is notable - Location Validation.  Cachers have to be within a predefined radius of the lab cache in order to log it.  I hope the lab cache builders will keep the cell service availability in mind when they set the "predefined radius", especially considering that not all providers are yet the same.

 

The Linear Gameplay aspect also sounds interesting.

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I just downloaded the app yesterday and was also wondering if anyone has used it yet.  Looks pretty cool and I also like the idea of location validation.  However, I'm worried about those old timers who still do not have a smart phone (or limited data) and would normally log the lab caches at home.  Unless I am reading that incorrectly they are going to be left in the dust. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm wonder how it will work at ASP GeoBash, which is notorious for bad cell service.

Edited by igator210

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On 12/27/2018 at 9:57 PM, Twinklekitkat said:

I just downloaded the app yesterday and was also wondering if anyone has used it yet.  Looks pretty cool and I also like the idea of location validation.  However, I'm worried about those old timers who still do not have a smart phone (or limited data) and would normally log the lab caches at home.  Unless I am reading that incorrectly they are going to be left in the dust. 

 

Borrow someone else's phone and log in under their own account, perhaps?

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Just downloaded this app today. Don’t know when I will get to use it.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 2:57 PM, Twinklekitkat said:

I just downloaded the app yesterday and was also wondering if anyone has used it yet.  Looks pretty cool and I also like the idea of location validation.  However, I'm worried about those old timers who still do not have a smart phone (or limited data) and would normally log the lab caches at home.  Unless I am reading that incorrectly they are going to be left in the dust. 

I used the App the first of January at the Space Needle. It worked really well and had a fun time discovering Curiosity lab caches. I would really like to make some Lab caches, I don't think we are going to be allowed for a while.   

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I got my invitation from GS today, but I'm not sure whether I should test it, because I never created a Lab Cache or Wherigo.

To me this new "invention" is a slightly blown up easy to use Wherigo under total control of Groundspeak.

I personally belong to the "old folks" who do not necessarily need "new exitement" every year or half (my life still is exciting enough😉), but stick to the joy of going to interesting places and combine this with searching for and (hopefully) finding a GEOcache (intentionally spelled this way).

 

Seemingly some people at Groundspeak still dream of GEOcaching becoming the #1 social activity of the world, with zillions of $$$ to be earned...

 

BTW, I do own a smartphone and tried several Geocaching apps, but to me none of them did come up to my expectations and/or meet my requirements.

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I just downloaded the app. The closest Adventure Labs to me are over 450km away in Seattle, so I won't be using the app for a while.

 

One note, hopefully the developers are watching this thread, I would like to see some administrative district names on the main page. It's great that the distance is included, but knowing the the Adventure is in Seattle, WA or Texas, or Maryland would be helpful. I did include this on the feedback page in the app.

 

Also, advise the adventure lab writers to add that information to their Adventure Lab description. I had to go all the way to the map to find out that the Baytown Adventure Lab is in Baytown Texas. 

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59 minutes ago, Isebar said:

I got my invitation from GS today, but I'm not sure whether I should test it, because I never created a Lab Cache or Wherigo.

 

Don't be afraid, Adventure Builder is easy to use, it is something like classical filing form when hiding traditional cache.

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1 minute ago, Harry Dolphin said:

Oh?  It needs an IPhone?  I'm out.

Cachly requires an iPhone.  Cachly does not work with Lab Caches.

 

The Adventure Lab app created by Groundspeak, for Lab Caches, works with both iOS (iPhones) and Android phones.

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46 minutes ago, noncentric said:

Cachly requires an iPhone.  Cachly does not work with Lab Caches.

 

The Adventure Lab app created by Groundspeak, for Lab Caches, works with both iOS (iPhones) and Android phones.

 

I only have a GPSr,  Guess I'm out.

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Just now, Harry Dolphin said:

I only have a GPSr,  Guess I'm out.

 

Yeah - once the "web player" goes away, then the only option to complete Lab Caches will be via the Adventure Lab app.  I haven't used the app for Lab Caches yet, as I've already completed all the Lab Caches in my area.  I had been using paper print-outs and the GPX file download of Lab Caches, but that GPX file download will no longer be available when the "web player" goes away.  :(   I think it's similar to Wherigo's, where a smartphone app is almost necessary, unless someone has one of the few GPSr's that can play Wherigo cartridges.

 

I have seen the app in action before though, and I think it will make Lab Caches easier to complete.  I also like the idea that it requires "finders" to be at the actual Lab Cache location, as that would eliminate the passing-around of code words that happens.  I also suspect that I'll no longer receive emails/messages from random cachers that I've never met asking me for Lab Cache codes.

On the other hand, I am concerned that cell reception will make some Lab Cache "finds" frustrating, if the builders don't consider that not all carriers are alike when they choose their location.  Cell reception was an issue at the last Going APE event where there were Lab Caches, but at least answers could be entered via the website after leaving the area to get better reception. That option won't be available with the location restrictions of the app, unless builders restrict to an 'expanded' area that increases the chances of better reception.

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Question is this a physical cache or a code like in Lab cache in general?

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45 minutes ago, noncentric said:

On the other hand, I am concerned that cell reception will make some Lab Cache "finds" frustrating, if the builders don't consider that not all carriers are alike when they choose their location.  Cell reception was an issue at the last Going APE event where there were Lab Caches, but at least answers could be entered via the website after leaving the area to get better reception. That option won't be available with the location restrictions of the app, unless builders restrict to an 'expanded' area that increases the chances of better reception.

Related to this is cachers finding the Lab caches while traveling. Due to roaming costs, lots of people may not have a cell data connection when they're traveling to another country. This effectively restricts the Lab caches to locals, and largely excludes tourists who otherwise would probably be the target audience. With a web form, tourists could wait until they get home or at least wait until they connect to hotel Wi-Fi in the evening.

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1 hour ago, The A-Team said:

Related to this is cachers finding the Lab caches while traveling. Due to roaming costs, lots of people may not have a cell data connection when they're traveling to another country. This effectively restricts the Lab caches to locals, and largely excludes tourists who otherwise would probably be the target audience. With a web form, tourists could wait until they get home or at least wait until they connect to hotel Wi-Fi in the evening.

 

If I made the App, I might have it save an encrypted code of some sort, that may be automatically sent whenever phone service is restored. Maybe there’s some reason this App requires a constant data stream?  I mean, aside from loading more of the story at various waypoints.

 

I experience “no signal” in various places in and around town. Never tried to figure out why.  If I’m using the phone for street routing at the time, I plug in the trusty old Nuvi and press on.

Edited by kunarion

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1 hour ago, The A-Team said:

With a web form, tourists could wait until they get home or at least wait until they connect to hotel Wi-Fi in the evening.

 

An alternative would be to create a large enough validation radius so as to allow for logging from a hotel or somewhere 'reasonably' nearby while not allowing for couch logging from the other side of the planet. Assuming we provide tools to allow for builders to select the validation radius (perhaps with some recommended values), I think this could be a reasonable solution for validation in low(er) coverage areas.  

 

At the same time, we realize that moving to a mobile only strategy for Adventure Lab (Lab Caches) does make it harder (or impossible) for people to play if they don't have a smartphone. Unfortunately, this is a choice we are making because we believe that accessing the value of potential features unlocked by smartphone technology is critical for enhancing the platform and realizing more of its potential for interactive geocaching gameplay and associated storytelling.     

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25 minutes ago, Bryan said:

An alternative would be to create a large enough validation radius so as to allow for logging from a hotel or somewhere 'reasonably' nearby while not allowing for couch logging from the other side of the planet. Assuming we provide tools to allow for builders to select the validation radius (perhaps with some recommended values), I think this could be a reasonable solution for validation in low(er) coverage areas.

That's what I was thinking when I said "builders restrict to an 'expanded' area that increases the chances of better reception."  At the last APE Event, I biked back-and-forth between the east tunnel opening (no reception) and the parking lot (better reception) a couple times because I couldn't figure out the correct answer for one of the Lab Caches.  I'm glad I brought a bike last year.  :P

 

 

25 minutes ago, Bryan said:

At the same time, we realize that moving to a mobile only strategy for Adventure Lab (Lab Caches) does make it harder (or impossible) for people to play if they don't have a smartphone. Unfortunately, this is a choice we are making because we believe that accessing the value of potential features unlocked by smartphone technology is critical for enhancing the platform and realizing more of its potential for interactive geocaching gameplay and associated storytelling.     

It's a tough balance between accommodating those that want to see innovation, and those that don't want to use advanced technology.  As long as the innovation doesn't take away from the 'classic' aspects of the hobby, then it's all good to me.

I see Lab Caches as additive - an additional cache type.  And while they will only be available to those that use/borrow a smartphone with a data plan, at least it is not taking away from the other cache types.  If there comes a time when a smartphone is required to find a traditional cache, then I'll have a different reaction.

 

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7 hours ago, noncentric said:

  If there comes a time when a smartphone is required to find a traditional cache, then I'll have a different reaction.

+1

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Does anyone know where you would get the builder to create a Lab cache on the new app?

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10 hours ago, noncentric said:

  If there comes a time when a smartphone is required to find a traditional cache, then I'll have a different reaction.

 

3 hours ago, HHL said:

+1

I'll see your +1 and raise it x1000.

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11 hours ago, Bryan said:

At the same time, we realize that moving to a mobile only strategy for Adventure Lab (Lab Caches) does make it harder (or impossible) for people to play if they don't have a smartphone. Unfortunately, this is a choice we are making because we believe that accessing the value of potential features unlocked by smartphone technology is critical for enhancing the platform and realizing more of its potential for interactive geocaching gameplay and associated storytelling.   

 

Thanks Bryan. I belong to players, who are thankful for this decision to unlock exciting features that only smartphones can bring into the game. :antenna:

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4 hours ago, BrierPatch said:

Does anyone know where you would get the builder to create a Lab cache on the new app?

 

I would also like to know this.  I'm gonna start a thread...

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I've been chewing on this ... more like stewing over it since I saw the invite yesterday. Call me an elitist or a geo-snob if you wish, but geocaching was meant to be done with a GPSr ... not a cell phone. I hope this isn't the devolution of geocaching into geo-Pokemon. Frankly, I'm disappointed in Geocaching.com. Now you don't even need to go outdoors???  It's a sad day for geocaching.  Maybe I'm overreacting, but I will decline the invitation.

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27 minutes ago, TEAM US2 said:

I've been chewing on this ... more like stewing over it since I saw the invite yesterday. Call me an elitist or a geo-snob if you wish, but geocaching was meant to be done with a GPSr ... not a cell phone. I hope this isn't the devolution of geocaching into geo-Pokemon. Frankly, I'm disappointed in Geocaching.com. Now you don't even need to go outdoors???  It's a sad day for geocaching.  Maybe I'm overreacting, but I will decline the invitation.

 

If Adventure Lab Caches require a constant data connection, that rules out many “adventures”, and not only the ones beyond the city. There are dead zones all over the place. I'll arrive at some cache in the center of town, and VIOLA, “No Service”. So I whip out my good old-fashioned GPS and go find caches. I don't want to NOT find a cache due to No Signal (and the smartphone somehow not having the offline data I need). I want to find it anyway. Many times I've spontaneously tried to use “a smartphone” because I have no Garmin GPS on me, and the App is not up to the task. A GPS is.

 

Smartphone caches likely appeal to persons who won't leave the sidewalk, won't get dirty, enjoy the same view of the city they see all the time, and need and can afford and maintain a connected smartphone. They scan a Pokie-Cache, done. If it leads to a pretty cool temporary gadget cache that would otherwise require excessive maintenance, that's something I might try to find.  Otherwise , it's a completely different thing from what I call an “adventure”. But that's the point, it's a different kind of “adventure”. It's something like preforms every tenth of a mile along a road. Just something different for people who play that way, who don't mind a sub-par experience.

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There are counties (not just cities) near my home where my call service does not work. Only the "local cell service" works in that area. How will this affect things? I have a smartphone, just with the wrong service provider. 

I sure hope that Ft. Worth doesn't have this issue for anyone.

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19 hours ago, Bryan said:

At the same time, we realize that moving to a mobile only strategy for Adventure Lab (Lab Caches) does make it harder (or impossible) for people to play if they don't have a smartphone. Unfortunately, this is a choice we are making because we believe that accessing the value of potential features unlocked by smartphone technology is critical for enhancing the platform and realizing more of its potential for interactive geocaching gameplay and associated storytelling.      

 

Well, that's been it with Adventure Labs for me. Very sad!

I was tempted to use - or at least try to use - the Adventure Lab, but I don't believe in the concept which is behind it.

 

The Gods almighty, also known as GC HQ, obviously are not aware that there are many Geocachers who live in regions of this world where you do have poor reception or only a very small bandwidth; enough to use a smartphone as a phone but insufficient for playing apps, loading maps or cartridges. In those areas (not necessarly wilderness, even in Germany you could find such regions) you still could find GEOcaches with a GPSr (not with a smartphone), which are worth the travel, because they meet what was the initial idea behind GEOcaching: show other people fascinating places in nature.

 

I used GEOcaching very often when traveling abroad, to find places of beauty and importance which you will never find in a tourist guide.

By GEOcaching I met fascinating people from different countries and culture in very remote spots of this world without cellular phone transmitters.

By GEOcaching I was able to show other people the greatness of nature by placing EarthCaches at certain locations. Not a 1000 words could "tell the story" of your feelings  there, when standing there and admiring.

By GEOcaching I learned a lot about history, technology, culture, about how people think and feel in foreign countries.

All this long before I owned my first smartphone.

 

This is how I "play" GEOcaching and will continue to do so as long as possible.

And I'm sure I'm not the only one in the GEOcaching community.

 

(Please excuse my poor English, I hope I could make my point)

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, BrierPatch said:

Does anyone know where you would get the builder to create a Lab cache on the new app?

 

You might find  THIS TOPIC  more relevant to your question.

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Groundspeak is adding something new to their offerings, and the something new is for a subset of the world's population.  The existing offerings appear to be unchanged.

 

So, more free stuff.  Or, more for the same price as before.  This is a problem?

 

Not everything has to be for everybody.

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On ‎1‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 12:09 PM, K13 said:

There are counties (not just cities) near my home where my call service does not work. Only the "local cell service" works in that area. How will this affect things? I have a smartphone, just with the wrong service provider. 

 

Provider not always an issue here.  We have areas right on an interstate that have miles of dead spots.

Many larger parks, forests, and game lands here have dead areas, some all of the area.   Funny how a GPSr manages to find caches there...   ;)

I finally gave up my last sorta-smart phone. Had every OS to date, so it's not an old-fart-doesn't-know-how thing.

Only used it for JIC anyway (I'm using a GPSr...), so the simple realization that I can't use it in most areas I frequent in this hobby helped me decide.

 - But like challenges, these "lab" caches just don't interest me, so as long as it doesn't interfere in how I choose to play, cool.     :)

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On ‎1‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 8:00 PM, Harry Dolphin said:

Wow!  Sad for us GPSr geocachers.

 

And the chilndren !    

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Was there this much uproar when Wherigo's were created?  A genuine question, as I wasn't caching then.  Wherigo's can't be played with most GPSr's, even newer ones.

 

I see Lab Caches as something similar, just a bit more limited.

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11 minutes ago, noncentric said:

Was there this much uproar when Wherigo's were created?  A genuine question, as I wasn't caching then.  Wherigo's can't be played with most GPSr's, even newer ones.

I see Lab Caches as something similar, just a bit more limited.

 

Yeah, I believe so.   Here, the other 2/3rds was one of only a handful just trading over from a blackberry.   :)

Folks got over it soon though (this'll be the same...) , as many didn't own a sorta-smart phone yet and  IIRC, it only worked on oregon and colorado  handhelds.

I don't see an "uproar",  just some saying how quickly the hobby seems to be steering to just another game.  

That's been like that since we started.  Probably well before.  Can you believe, we were called "prolific" cachers by a " '00/'01" couple back then.    :D

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If there are areas that have no cell reception, I highly doubt there would be Lab Caches placed there.

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On ‎1‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 4:04 PM, Isebar said:

 

Well, that's been it with Adventure Labs for me. Very sad!

I was tempted to use - or at least try to use - the Adventure Lab, but I don't believe in the concept which is behind it.

 

The Gods almighty, also known as GC HQ, obviously are not aware that there are many Geocachers who live in regions of this world where you do have poor reception or only a very small bandwidth; enough to use a smartphone as a phone but insufficient for playing apps, loading maps or cartridges. In those areas (not necessarly wilderness, even in Germany you could find such regions) you still could find GEOcaches with a GPSr (not with a smartphone), which are worth the travel, because they meet what was the initial idea behind GEOcaching: show other people fascinating places in nature.

 

I used GEOcaching very often when traveling abroad, to find places of beauty and importance which you will never find in a tourist guide.

By GEOcaching I met fascinating people from different countries and culture in very remote spots of this world without cellular phone transmitters.

By GEOcaching I was able to show other people the greatness of nature by placing EarthCaches at certain locations. Not a 1000 words could "tell the story" of your feelings  there, when standing there and admiring.

By GEOcaching I learned a lot about history, technology, culture, about how people think and feel in foreign countries.

All this long before I owned my first smartphone.

 

This is how I "play" GEOcaching and will continue to do so as long as possible.

And I'm sure I'm not the only one in the GEOcaching community.

 

(Please excuse my poor English, I hope I could make my point)

 

 

 

 

+1

 

There are many places around town where I have no reception, in urban areas, towers everywhere. Even among phone data services, the coverage differs. Coverage changes. A spot at the edge of reception will fail frequently.  You can set an Adventure Lab there, because it works for you today.

 

Technology being “new”, I know I may not be able to play them all. I may arrive at GZ and discover it doesn't work with my setup. Maybe I don't want to go through all the debugging to get it working, I skip these things, and that's OK. But to be told constantly, “It Works Fantastic For Everybody, I Don't Know What Your Problem Is”... frankly, that's the problem. B)

 

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On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 5:24 PM, noncentric said:

Was there this much uproar when Wherigo's were created?  A genuine question, as I wasn't caching then.  Wherigo's can't be played with most GPSr's, even newer ones.

 

I see Lab Caches as something similar, just a bit more limited.

 

I've played Wherigo caches on my "Wherigo-supporting GPS" and failed, some important data was missing, when the CO insisted it works great. Upon switching from GPS to phone, the Wherigo played fine. Some devices are good, others not, even among devices that "support" the feature.

 

I notice that the “cool new thing” (for example, Wherigo) never becomes highly polished. It remains pretty bad, and in a couple of years it's abandoned.

 

Edited by kunarion
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Does the app have a map that shows all the locations of the labs?   I'm not finding one on the app.  On the regular caching map, we can look at caches around the country to see where they are.  In my case, they are hundreds of miles away.

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On 3/12/2019 at 10:16 AM, peacefrog77 said:

Does the app have a map that shows all the locations of the labs? 

 

No, I don't think so.  Currently it looks like you open an adventure and the map for that particular one is shown below the description.

 

Does anyone know the search phrase to find the app in the app store (iOS)? I can no longer find it there.  

 

Some additional features that would be nice is a notification when you are near one of the adventures and also a notification as new ones are added within a certain radius of your current/home location.

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I think Groundspeak is headed the wrong direction with lab caches that require a mobile phone and an app.  Not everyone that geocaches has a phone, or is comfortable with using it to cache.  The only things required to find a cache should be your eyes, your brain, and something that can find GPS coordinates.  If you need another device, that should be another game.  Count me out if I'm going to need more than a handheld GPS to play.

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After 'doing' most of the Adventure Labs at a recent Mega Event, I wouldn't call them caches. They are just an experience that brings you to a location to obtain a code word. They are much like a stage of a Wherigo cache.

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2 hours ago, PulmonaryHip said:

I think Groundspeak is headed the wrong direction with lab caches that require a mobile phone and an app.  Not everyone that geocaches has a phone, or is comfortable with using it to cache.  The only things required to find a cache should be your eyes, your brain, and something that can find GPS coordinates.  If you need another device, that should be another game.  Count me out if I'm going to need more than a handheld GPS to play.

Fully d'accord +1

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4 hours ago, K13 said:

After 'doing' most of the Adventure Labs at a recent Mega Event, I wouldn't call them caches. They are just an experience that brings you to a location to obtain a code word. They are much like a stage of a Wherigo cache.

 

I wouldn't call them "Lab" caches any more as there is no "Lab"-part left. The experience is very generalized and has no freedom to the CO to test new cache ideas which was the original idea of "Labs". Currently these caches works as a bonus for large events. For me this is OK and gives some possibilities required to organize these events.

Edited by arisoft

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

... and has no freedom to the CO to test new cache ideas ...

"freedom to the CO" is an interesting keyword. For the Adventure Lab Caches there is no review whatsoever, so in some sense a CO has a lot of freedom to guide the cachers to whatever location he likes. Including ones, which would be immediately rejected by the reviewer for a normal cache. I'm undecided whether this is a good thing or not ;) .

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45 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

in some sense a CO has a lot of freedom to guide the cachers to whatever location he likes

 

Practically the place is shown on the map. That is one reason why it is so easy to fake. Ok, there is some freedom how to find the passcode.

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47 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

Practically the place is shown on the map. That is one reason why it is so easy to fake. Ok, there is some freedom how to find the passcode.

Between the location on the map and the code, a lot of things can happen ;) .

 

In theory, I could have designed an Adventure Lab like this:

- At the location, you will find further instructions (e.g. a QR code pointing to a web page I wrote).

- The instructions could send the cacher anywhere, including e.g. illegal but "interesting" locations.

- During the hunt, the cacher gathers the final code.

- At the end, the cacher returns to the starting location to claim the find by entering the code.

 

Disclaimer: I don't say that it would have been a good idea.

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5 hours ago, baer2006 said:

Disclaimer: I don't say that it would have been a good idea.

 

I would be better if the finder must find the correct place by following instructions in the Adventure and the passcode do not work before.

 

6 hours ago, baer2006 said:

At the location, you will find further instructions (e.g. a QR code pointing to a web page I wrote).

 

Lab Guidelines do not mention anything about physical stages. I guess that saturation rules do not apply for them because of the temporary nature.

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