Augmented-reality treasure hunt part of eclipse weekend

Tech company develops app for scavenger hunt during eclipse weekend

Tech company develops app for augmented-reality scavenger hunt

If you’re looking to spice up your eclipse weekend, you can grab your cell phone and join a community-wide scavenger hunt. The 2024 “Roclipse Total Totality Scavenger Hunt” is currently underway. 

To participate, you need to download an app called MetaROC.  From there, you visit real-life landmarks across Rochester to collect digital objects, badges and coins that you can cash-in for real-life freebies and discounts. 

There are badges to collect from areas around RMSC, the Little Theater, Seneca Park Zoo, RIT, University of Rochester, the Strong and more than a dozen other locations around the city. If you collect them all, you could win $500 but even if you only grab a few, there could be freebies attached; you don’t know until you go!

A Rochester-based augmented reality technology company is behind the app. ReplayAR CEO Brandon Martin tells News10NBC he hopes to give people who live here and visit during the eclipse an immersive experience into all that Rochester has to offer and what it’s experienced in the past.    

“Essentially, it’s like a game, it’s a treasure hunt. So, a user is prompted to collect 24 solar badges, and these are hidden throughout the city,” he explains. “You just hold up your viewfinder on the phone — it can be an Android or an iPhone or whatever you have — and you’ll see the badge right there. You tap on it and it will save to your trophy room, and each of these will have kind of a little informational piece — for example, we’re working with the Monroe County Public Library, so there’s a lot of education attached to that badge or there’s like little promotions that others are running.”

The MetaROC app is free to download and use this weekend. Depending on how the hunt goes, ReplayAR may look to expand the format in other cities across the country during big events, too. 

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