It wasn’t so long ago when the family road-trip meant long periods of time with only the
window and the delight in the company of others to keep you entertained. Look over there!
A cow! You were forced to talk to each other, and to stop nagging one and other you made
stuff up, sang or played games. One particular favourite to avert complete boredom – the
last step towards nagging children – was “I spy with my little eye”. Keep the kids engaged in
this and it was a peaceful journey, lose their interest and it was the car-ride from hell.
These days, it’s much the same, but with one subtle difference. The iphone. This little magic
rectangle of all things awesome has brought the old age into the new. It is hard to imagine
a holiday without one. Lost? Use an App. Want to sing? Use an App. Nagging kids? Use an
“That’s the beauty of technology” says Dave Kennedy, lead designer and co-owner of
Dangerous Pixels, an Aussie tech team based in Melbourne. It allows us to take our
favourite pastimes and make them available anywhere anytime at the swipe of a screen.
Take ‘SpyThis!’, a new gaming App developed by the team at Dangerous Pixels, which uses
the concept of the “I spy with my little eye” game commonly played on those long family
“I think we all have memories of those long trips in the car during holidays and how the
monotony was broken with a game of ‘I spy’” says Dave. SpyThis! allows anyone to take a
photo using their iphone (or ipad), tag and name an object within the photo and then send
it to a friend or random player to guess. But SpyThis! is more than just a game. Aside from
the traditional ‘I spy’ gaming element, SpyThis! is also a new way to communicate socially
using photos. You can tell someone where you are or what you are doing through a fun
Of course, we all know how social media has changed the way a significant proportion of
the world communicate. With mega popular Apps like Instagram and Facebook, we are
seeing more and more people posting images to social networks to communicate about
themselves and about what they are doing. SpyThis! integrates all of these social elements
and turns them into a game. For the team at Dangerous Pixels, “it is how the user is able to
play the game using images as a means for social interaction that we find most exciting. You
can play with someone else half-way around the world, or with the person sitting next to
you. This dynamic with photos has never really been explored before.”
An upgrade for the App is coming soon, where the user will be able to store their images
into a location ‘scrap book’ that logs the users’ games. There will also be a multi-player
option with more clues to unlock and unique photo filters that allow users to add their own
style to the image before they post it on Facebook.
Of course, the long road trips will probably still involve nagging. But that will more likely be
because the iPhone has run out of batteries.