Recently, location-based games company Booyah released a software update that allows users to check-in products by scanning the product barcode with their smartphone’s camera. These scanned check-ins unlock points and prizes with real-world discounts or web-based rewards. By combining products and locations, Booyah is the first service to recognise product interest at specific retail locations – something which other geo-location based games can’t currently do.
Booyah hopes that its location-based services will help drive customers to retailers, while the product check-ins will generate valuable data and push consumers closer to the point of sale. Booyah already has a large user base for its augmented reality gaming world, a kind of online monopoly where users check in to sites to unlock rewards, collect rent, buy properties and see what MyTown friends are doing. The new update will allow iPod and iPhone owners to scan barcodes from products to reveal coupons and points to be used in the game.
The location-based aspect if MyTown, combined with product scanning places Booyah in a position to generate lots of valuable data which retailers can use and would probably be willing to pay for. Retailers will now be able to analyse trends and examine what consumers prefer on a location-by-location basis. Now, the MyTown API also works across the major markets in the UK, Australia and Canada so Booyah is expecting a hefty expansion of its service.
However it remains to be seen how many consumers will be willing to brandish their iPhones and set about scanning barcodes in the middle of supermarkets and department stores.