JFG Haiku Hunt

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The JFG Haiku Hunt app is a mobile app that integrates with location-based WiFi chips.  Visitors embark on a scavenger hunt to find specific locations in the Japanese Friendship Garden. Clues for the app were crowd-sourced. Online visitors were invited to create haikus (a form of Japanese poetry) to be featured as the “riddles” in the app. Sumi-e artists were invited to create abstract drawings of the locations and sound clues were added when appropriate. Using these clues, visitors embark on a search for the specific location. Once the location is discovered, the user receives a message that they solved the “riddle” and the app unlocks hidden facts and information about the specific location. Unlock all of the clues, and the visitor earns a reward.

Based on a 2010 survey of over 10,000 visitors and restrictions on informational signage due to Japanese garden aesthetics, the Japanese Friendship Garden (JFG) began a new initiative to integrate technology as an alternative form of providing information to visitors.   Partnering with the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC), the University of California, San Diego’s Pacific Rim Experiences for Undergraduates (PRIME) program, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and Information Services International – Dentsu, Ltd (iSiD), the JFG was the perfect venue to implement new solar-powered PlaceSticker devices.

The PlaceSticker technology is a device that broadcasts a localized WiFi signal tagged with a unique ID detectable by Android devices.  In this project, the devices were assigned to specific garden locations.

This project was a true collaboration with the Japanese Friendship Garden providing and facilitating the content, the Balboa Park Online Collaborative and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology provided technical support, the Information Services International – Dentsu, Ltd (iSiD) provided the localized WiFi technology, and the the University of California, San Diego’s Pacific Rim Experiences for Undergraduates (PRIME) program provided the student.

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