SCVNGR brings the mobile hunt to cities near you

Jun 16, 2010
Tech

Are you as tired of check-in apps as I am? There can’t possibly be many more to come to the already saturated market, but at least the Google-backed app SCVNGR, which recently rolled out a new update, has given the niche yet another new twist. SCVNGR isn’t so much a check-in app as it is […]

Are you as tired of check-in apps as I am? There can’t possibly be many more to come to the already saturated market, but at least the Google-backed app SCVNGR, which recently rolled out a new update, has given the niche yet another new twist.

SCVNGR isn’t so much a check-in app as it is a mobile game. Yes, the principles of the free app rely on your location and you checking in to that location, but forget about all that for a moment. Where SCVNGR differs from the likes of Foursquare is in its treks, or scavenger hunts, which award users points for taking photos of themselves doing various things at various locations.

You can browse treks based on your current location, and although the pickings might be slim (or nonexistent) in your area, don’t immediately write off SCVNGR. Chicago currently only offers up a President Obama-based trek and a search around Millennium Park, but SCVNGR’s headquarter city Boston is rife with hunts. Philadelphia’s The Franklin Institute recently joined the app by creating a historic search around the museum, centered on its new exhibit, “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt.” Across the country in San Francisco, Gray Line tours created a SCVNGR trek of the Bay Area’s must-see sights. While SCVNGR is growing through corporate clients (universities are among the app’s biggest group of users), individuals can create hunts of their own on SCVNGR.com.

Through the places tab, every location included in the SCVNGR app has three default point-worthy challenges: check-in, say something and snap a picture. Depending on the location, other challenges may be available as well.

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I wasn’t sure about SCVNGR at first, but I think its usefulness in educational, academic and, perhaps, adventuresome settings make it an app to watch.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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