Augmented reality, location-based treasure hunting game Seek launched, claiming to be “similar to Pokemon Go but with the chance to win actual things instead of goofy digital beings”.
Users find treasure chests in the real world, the same way they would Pokemon Go, and can potentially win prizes such as $1,000 or a big screen television. It was created and released in the US.
The company behind the app said that “as the Pokemon Go craze overtook humanity,” it beta-tested with 1,000 users “to rave reviews” and have now launched with a recipe they believe is “built for success”.
Seek started off as a physical treasure hunt.
Partnerships with businesses is now on the agenda: “We give businesses the ability to drop a treasure chest right outside their store, put whatever they want inside it, and attract customers to come open it, vying at a chance to win something,” founder Jon Cheney explained.
For example, Times Square has chests sponsored by portable solar power products maker GoalZero, and Blendtec, a firm that makes blenders. If users find these chests, they can win exclusive discounts and free products.
Whereas Pokemon Go’s user base “initially skyrocketed, then dwindled into just remaining diehards,” Seek believes its app will continue to engage users.
“There is no inherent value gained from playing Pokemon Go,” said Cheney.
It is worth noting that back in September, John Hanke, CEO of Pokemon Go creator Niantic, said he is confident the game will thrive for a number of years, dismissing suggestions that its popularity would be short-lived.
Seek can also provide companies with valuable information, such as the gender, age and interests of its users.
“Now businesses can start to understand who’s coming to their store and what type of stuff they should put in this marketing tool,” explained Cheney.
He clarified that there would be no specifics because the firm “value the privacy of our users, but it will share demographic, gender split and age distribution, for instance.
A report from Juniper Research last month said AR apps will see a 380 per cent increase in downloads from an estimated 482 million in 2016 to 2.3 billion by 2021, thanks in part to the popularity of Pokemon Go.