Sweden was recently named one of the world's most innovative nations in a global ranking. Attempting to live up to that reputation, tourism officials in the capital city of Stockholm have debuted a city guide app that, in an innovative twist, is based on sounds of the city.
The free app "Stockholm Sounds" lets users earn points for playing a variety of games that are related to audio-based information at more than 40 locations, such as a quiz at famed music store Pet Sounds Records and its sister bar across the street.
Visitors get access to six interactive sound installations around town, created by artist Håkan Lidbo. Users are, for instance, given instructions to hop across a piece of public art in one plaza that generates sounds through their footsteps.
Earlier this month, the app debuted in the iTunes App Store, and will appear on Android's Google Play store shortly. It doesn’t require Wi-Fi or data roaming.
The app is built as a platform in which local hotels, restaurants, and nightlife promoters can post discounts and rewards for players of the game. It can only be played on location in the city, starting at the main airport.
The app has pros and cons.
On the cool side, the app includes a pre-party playlist that can be heard via Spotify, the online music-streaming service and that has a solid mix of Urban Cone and Oskar Linnros.
On the downside, it's hard to think of a out-of-town travelers organizing their visits to a city based on a location-based game.
That said, the app tells you a mix of amusing facts, such as where to find the location of the bank heist that originated the term "Stockholm Syndrome", and some useful tips, such as which clubs are best. Yet other information feels irrelevant, such as an item on what snapping photographs used to sound like in the pre-digital era.
The app was produced Pergate, a Swedish mobile game developer, which aspires to launch the platform in other Europeans cities -- though the sound concept will be exclusive for Stockholm.
The app is pilot project and is undergoing beta testing during the autumn, so there's no large scale promotion of it being planned except for social media and the city's tourism website, visitstockholm.com. Eventually, partners (i.e points of interest in the app) will promote the project via their own channels as well.
Overall, when compared with other tourism efforts, this one is among the most innovative we've seen in the past year.
Here's a cute promo video: