‘Treasure’ hunt phone app gives boost to tourist destinations
A revolutionary app is making family sightseeing trips and company training days extra fun for all.
Sighter – the brainwave of video gamemaker Attila Szalo – encourages visitors and employees to track down and photograph a trail of sights – “the treasure” – in an enthralling game played out on their mobile phones.
Attila, who helped create the multi-million pound hit video game Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising at Codemasters, in Leamington, Warwickshire, UK, said: “I came up with the idea on my way to work one day. I found a statue behind a hedge and took a photo of it with my phone.
“I thought it would be great if other people locally could find it. This triggered the idea of using photo-sharing in a location-based treasure hunt game app.”
Attila moved back to his home city of Budapest in Hungary to create Sighter with fellow ace coder Krisztian Kusper, who previously developed the iGo navigation system, now used by around 20 million people globally.
Krisztian said: “It has taken several years and significant investment to develop this app, but now Sighter is up and running and beginning to be adopted around the world. In Ireland, the technology – which can work with Android and iOS systems – is in full use as the ‘Waterways Ireland Lakeland Treasure app’.
“We designed the routes to suit the location using tailored content gained from the knowledge and experience of the heritage officers for up to 15 sights. We made trails for Birr Castle, Belvedere House and Athlone Castle in County Offaly in Ireland and it has really boosted their visitor numbers.”
The system is also ideal for company training days and was recently used by mobile phone giant Vodafone for a major staff event.
Attila said: “Forty people took part in four teams. Each team followed a different trail, all of them leading to the same restaurant where they had a dinner after the hunt. During the game they had to investigate a murder case and had enjoyable experiences such as receiving unexpected calls from a nearby public phone box and finding hidden plastic weapons. They loved it every second of it!”
Now Sighter has British destinations squarely in its sights. “It is very exciting,” added Attila. “My dream is that every major British city will have trails based on the Sighter app.”