Rat Race: Android Scavenger Hunt At Google I/O!


One of my favorite movies is Rat Race, not only because it is a hilarious movie with a ridiculous amount of “star power”, but also because the concept of the movie intrigues me. It’s almost like an impromptu version of “The Amazing Race” that, to be honest, would be made possible (and made awesome) by Android phones with a supporting application.

Here is the Rat Race Trailer – if you haven’t seen it you should definitely do so:

While I’ve wished that some entertaining race/treasure-hunt sort of gaming system was available for Android, I found out that it is – and it’s going to be put to good use at Google I/O!

scvngr-hatEarlier this month, Google announced that SCVNGR would be using their platform to build an interactive Scavenger Hunt for Google I/O that will utilize your Android phone’s Geo-Location and barcode scanner to verify successful “missions”:

If you’re attending Google I/O this year, you’ll get to try out our mobile game at the conference! (Don’t forget to bring your Android phone, if you’ve got one!) I’m not going to give it all away here, but I do want to talk about one of the especially cool features that we’re rolling out using some neat Google APIs.

The article goes into some detail about methods of verifying successful events/actions and I’m sure there will be a bunch of development in this area over time. But thinking about it, SCVNGR seems to have a pretty amazing system to offer any person, group, organization or institution the opportunity to create their own Scavenger. But it doesn’t just stop at Scavenger Hunts, as they explain on their website:

SCVNGR is a geo-gaming platform that enables anyong (individual or institutional) to quickly and easily build location-based mobile games, tours, and interactive experiences that can be played by anyone on any mobile device.


So you won’t NEED an Android Phone… but I’m sure it certainly helps, after all Android is awesome. But think about how many different things you could use this for? Some immediate ideas that come to mind:

  • Bar crawl that is city wide
  • Store chain offering incentives/coupons for visiting multiple locations
  • Museums or cities providing chronological “tours” taking you location to location to location
  • Tell us YOUR idea!

scvngr-logoOf course my favorite concept is to use it like the ringleader in Rat Race, although I’d be slightly less evil. I have to say that I’m eager to hear what SCVNGR will have waiting for us at Google I/O – will you be there?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. My sister and I thought of doing something like this but wouldn’t need this app specifically. It would be based on QR codes that would be scattered around the city. You would have to scan them all (one would have a clue that would lead to the next) and eventually you’d end up at the finish line. Perhaps gather a few “items” along the way to prove you were actually there. Winner would receive a prize.

  2. First, Rat Race is a very funny movie. Second, I could see how a few local bars and just about any business could use this(bars are fun). They just pay for advertiseing to Google and set up scavenger hunts, and get a discount or free prize or something for your next outing. This could be huge with the way Android is growing. I also think QR codes would be the best way to go, I’m sure they will work something out for non Androidians. Another win.

  3. I could see this type of thing be used at Amusement parks like Disney.

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