Legend Tracker Puts Mission on the Map
Posted by MissionBIZeNews,
Renowned gorilla researcher Jane Goodall has romanticized him. Primatologist John Napier and anthropologist Gordon Strasenburg have postulated that he belongs to a thought-to-be-extinct hominid species called Paranthropus. He is purported to have attacked a party of miners in Washington, and has terrorized a family in Ruby Creek BC. Skeptics dismiss him as simply a bear with mange.
He is Sasquatch, the apelike bipedal humanoid of legend and folklore. He’s a big boy, standing 2-3 metres tall, but one look at his feet tells his real story. They’re huge, giving him the nickname of bigfoot. And now Bigfoot is poised to feature Mission British Columbia, not only on the world map, but solidly embedded in the world’s consciousness.
“We know that Sasquatch has been sighted all over North America”, says Miles Marziani, founder and CEO of Kelowna based PlayMobility. “But our exhaustive research tells us that his natural range is in the forests and mountains that surround Mission. And today we’re announcing a sure fire way to find him”.
The former Mission resident is addressing the Mission Chamber of Commerce June luncheon in Heritage Park. Today he is unveiling his latest creation, a smart phone app called Legend Tracker. The app uses all tools in a smartphone – GPS, compass, etc. – to track and eventually locate some of the world’s most enduring legend creatures, such as Loch Ness Monster, Ogopogo, Yeti and Sasquatch. It is cutting edge technology, brand new to the marketplace, and, although Kelowna’s Ogopogo was used as the prototype for development, Mission British Columbia is the first city in the world to embrace it.
“This is geocacheing on steroids”, says Mission Economic Development Officer Stacey Crawford. “The tourism and business development potential of this technology is astounding”. The game itself is compelling (see sidebar), but the business and economic development potential of the app is the really exciting aspect of this story. Legend Tracker is designed to hook even the most jaded of gamers, and keep them hooked. Their quest to find the Legend (in this case, Mission’s Sasquatch) will require them to visit physically various Mission locations in order to improve their tracking tools. Says Stacey Crawford: “Locations can be either tourist attractions such as Fraser River Heritage Park or they can be local businesses. In either case, there is the opportunity for thousands of people to become familiar with Mission and what we have to offer”.
Game development costs money, and PlayMobility expects to recoup its investment by selling many participation in the game. The company’s marketing model targets retail and service businesses large and mall, businesses that are looking to increase visibility and profile. Any interested organizations will be invited to contract with Play Mobility in order to be included as a treasure mark location. “Mission has a target audience of more than one million people within an easy day’s outing”, says Stacey Crawford. “As Legend Tracker becomes more and more popular, we see of these folks coming here for no other reason than to track the Sasquatch. And for them to be effective they will have to spend time on the premises of businesses who are participating in the program”.
For Legend Tracker users in other parts of the globe, the Sasquatch legend still makes Mission accessible. Pushing the Sasquatch icon brings up information about Mission, its location, attractions and shopping. “A Legend Tracker user in Europe might stumble upon Mission, and decide to include us in a future holiday”, says Stacey. “The scope and power of this technology is incredible”.
Of course only time will tell. But as the first city in the world to embrace it, the full power of Legend Tracker is focussed squarely on Mission. And that in itself is very exciting.