Virus: A game using iBeacons

Over the Air this year saw Andy join forces with Simon and Steven of the Boffin Lab and Paul Johnston to do “something involving iBeacons”!

We very quickly decided that the advertised uses of the technology (retail, museums etc) weren't very interesting and we should build a game instead. iBeacons allow you to use proximity to either standalone beacons (e.g. Estimote), or to other devices that support the profile (later iOS devices running iOS7).

The idea that emerged was game based on viruses, where the aim was to infect everyone else without being infected yourself. The game mechanic would be (for extra geek points) Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock, where when coming into close proximity with another player, you would have to choose one of your viruses to play against them with, and then fight for who infects who.

iBeacons in the end turned out to be harder to get working reliably than we‘d first anticipated and are very slow to recognise the change in proximity (probably due to limitations or configuration of the underlying Bluetooth LE system). However, we presented the game and won the ’Hardware - Best use of other features prize'! 👍

iBeacons are definitely something Steamshift will be revisiting in the future.

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