Rock Solid Knowledge grants all its employees 10% time, time for them to work on a project with other employees on an idea outside their normal work. These projects could involve investigating new technology, or taking an idea that doesn't have immediate commercial value and developing a proof of concept.
One such project was the Scavenger application. The Scavenger application is an electronic treasure trail. Users of the application use a map on their mobile phone to visit a series of locations to complete challenges.
While developing the application Mark Pitt a remote Rock Solid Knowledge developer living in Bridgnorth, Shropshire saw an opportunity for the application to be deployed in his local town as part of their art trail. Visitors follow the trail around the town to find statues of Richard Trevithick's famous steam engine, which was manufactured in the town. Initially, a paper map and a website were the only guides for visitors, Mark saw an opportunity to utilise our Scavenger application to make the tour more 21st century and encourage the younger visitor to be keen to take part and provide insights to how the trail was being used.
We approached the committee running the trail and they were delighted with our offer to release a mobile application for the trail. The mobile phone application has an advantage over the paper map in that it can provide insights into how the trail is being used:
- When the statues are visited
- How many visitors complete the trail
- Do people give up
- Are some statues not so popular
This information is extremely valuable when considering where to place additional statues and to encourage local business sponsorship. In addition to revenue from the statue sponsorship, the mobile phone application can be used to deliver targeted adverts as a visitor visits each location, "Halfway around how about a cup of tea at ....., just around the corner", providing additional revenue.
The local running club has started to use the trail for training, and have a series of routes around the town incorporating the statues. Being a competitive bunch they have requested that the mobile phone app record the times of each runner, and offer them the chance to submit their time to a global high score table. Rock Solid Knowledge accepted the challenge so we are developing the feature and should have it out in the next couple of weeks.
You don't have to be a seasoned runner to get the benefit of recording your time, we are investigating creating timed walking challenges, complete the trail in less than X minutes, and gain a trophy. A great tool for combating obesity in the mobile phone generation. Shorter challenges and trophies are also being considered for those who can't complete the whole trail.
Rock Solid Knowledge are keen to repeat this success in other locations, so if you have a town/city who needs a 21st-century trail, providing insights into visitor footfall, and the possibility of generating targeted advertising revenue, please get in touch.
Listen to a recent radio interview with BBC Radio Shropshire and all the key parties of the trail.
Or, download the MP3 if you cannot see the audio player.