It seems decidedly odd, but the principles behind mega hit game Pokemon Go could actually be applied to help with disaster recovery. A new mobile app has been developed for addicts of the game which has taken the world by storm, to encourage them to trial a new piece of software that could be used to save lives in areas affected by disaster.
Developed by 3 Sided Cube in Westbourne, the new app is called Local em All and is free to download, allowing players to catch Pokemon characters and let other users nearby know. Whilst playing the game, there is a serious purpose too – the app is actually working behind the scenes to test the readiness of the developer’s servers for the hazard tracking app.
Pokemon Go uses augmented reality to allow over 100 million players across the world to seek out virtual characters in live locations. The Local em All variety allows these plays to send an automatic report when they find a character, and receive updates when a fellow local player finds one, as well as being able to view a map of recent spot locations.
A Fun Game – With Serious Purpose
In the background meanwhile, it tests the life-saving potential of the new disaster tracking app, developed with the Global Disaster Preparedness Centre.
The disaster app version will allow users to automatically flag up hazards such as rising levels of floodwater which are occurring in a disaster area, for disaster management teams to assess and respond to.
MD of 3 Sided Cube, Duncan Cook, said that the Locate em All app was the brainchild of one of the company’s developers, who found inspiration when discussing the topic of crowdsourcing for hazards. The project is a superb example of crowdsourced software testing, such as the type delivered by https://www.bugfinders.com/.
Great Crowdsourcing Potential
Mr Cook added that the agency were very keen to further investigate the crowdsourcing potential of hazard apps with GDPC, in the hope of developing software that could potentially save thousands of lives across the world by preparing disaster teams to respond most effectively to the impacts of natural disasters or hazards.
The Locate em All app is available via the Google store for Android phones, with an Apple iOS app version in development.