The Quadstreaker mobile app colours in areas the mobile device owner moves around in, bringing gamification to the discovery of local businesses.

Quadstreaker Encourages People to Explore Districts and Discover Local Businesses

Foursquare provides local firms with a way of creating customer loyalty by using gaming methods and providing geolocation-based offers, but for those many companies that do not have access to this kind of technology, this approach remains out of reach. Now, however the Quadstreaker app, developed by Seattle-based entrepreneur Scott Kendall, takes a different gaming angle to encourage mobile device owners to discover their local businesses. Quadstreaker does not use ‘check-in’ functionality. Instead it uses a colouring game to inspire people to go and check out areas of their city that they do not know and compete with other app users through a social network.

Cutting up the world into squares

Quadstreaker is very easy to use. Based on the mobile device’s geolocation capability, the app segments the world into squares or ‘quads’, whose size depends on population density. For example, New York City boroughs are divided into smaller quads than the surrounding districts and countryside. The colour-coding of the squares is based on the amount of ground the user has covered, or ‘streaked’ in a given quad. If you have been across the area only once, the colour displayed will be less bright than if you go there regularly. “Quadstreaker’s primary aim is to draw an interactive map and a history of a person’s movements.” Scott Kendall told L'Atelier, explaining: “Into the map I’ve incorporated the principles of gamificationand competition.” A user’s journey generates a number of points, so all app users can compete to cover the territory.

An application for the long term

Quadstreaker has been specially designed to run over long periods of the day. If a user is moving around very little (less than 25 metres in an 8 minute period), the app de-activates so as not to drain the smartphone battery unnecessarily. In fact Quadstreaker has the potential to bring together two sectors – travel and local business – which do not basically have very much in common. In the past few months, several surveys have underlined the challenges which mobile technology presents for local firms. Among the reports, a survey published by the Local Search Association in early May indicated a clear need for local businesses to re-shape their strategies to take account of mobile advertising opportunities. One of the key findings of the study was that in December 2012, 48% of mobile owners used their device to access local content.

By Guillaume Parodi