Groundspeak launched their new Wherigo website today. It is a location-based game where you can use a GPS-enabled device to guide you to certain locations that will trigger an event in the device. You may have to get some clues from something at the location or interact with an object in the game loaded on the device. From the website:
Using the Wherigo Player application and a GPS-enabled device, participants can visit physical locations, take and use virtual items, interact with virtual characters and solve real-world puzzles.
As a player enters and exits a zone using a GPS-enabled device, the players experience what the author intended for them, including viewing media, receiving directions or tasks and hearing sounds on the device. For instance, when a player walks into a zone, a player could “talk” to a virtual character, “pull” a virtual switch or “give” a virtual item to a character. As the player continues to move from zone to zone, an author’s fictional story, tour or adventure game can be experienced using Wherigo.
At the moment, the devices you can use are PocketPCs running Windows Mobile and the yet-to-be-released Garmin Colorado. We’ve been speculating about the Garmin Colorado in the Groundspeak forum for a while. I don’t think anybody could have predicted the Colorado would be designed in cahoots with Groundspeak to run the Wherigo game platform. Surely there had to be cooperation between the developers (Groundspeak) and the hardware manufacturer (Garmin). They seem to have a good relationship; I think a Groundspeak notable appeared at the opening of the Garmin store in Chicago and Garmin produced the web browser plugin that allows caches to be downloaded directly to the GPSr. Meanwhile, Magellan has seriously borked up the release of their Triton line, which freezes and bricks itself during waypoint transfer and has an inefficient user interface. I already bought a nuvi 200 from Garmin; maybe my next handheld will be a Colorado 300.
One more thing about the Colorado. Since it will run Wherigo game cartridges, I wonder if it uses WindowsMobile or WindowsCE (like the Magellan Triton). If Garmin is switching to a Windows OS like Magellan, I certainly hope they do a better job testing the thing. Some Triton owners have had their units crash and display an error message for an .exe file.
This Wherigo game seems pretty interesting. Sometimes I could care less about finding a container at the end of my walk through a forest preserve if there is nice stuff to photograph along the way. Wherigo could be a nice way to put together a tour of an interesting area. The process of completing the game would be incentive for me to visit an area, and the action of completing the game would guide me through the area. I don’t have a PocketPC that I own (one sits in my desk at work) or a GPSr that will work with the PocketPC, so I’m out of the game for now. Perhaps the Garmin Colorado would be the most efficient way for me to get into the game. My eXplorist 400 is beat to heck and the Tritons are so buggy, so I may be the latest convert to Garmin.
The Prius encountered subzero temperatures for the first time this morning. I also passed the 10,000 mile mark. I pulled onto a dead end street to take some photos, including one showing me going 9mph with 9999mi on the car and another of me going 10mph with 10000mi on the car.