Now for some incentives, some game-making reasons why someone would want to engage.
I quickly assembled some "Fun Paks:" miscellaneous collections of ephemera that were primarily, although not exclusively, inspired by Boston history.
The idea was to add something to win if you managed to move the Taza Spinning Paper Image of a Granite Chocolate-Grinding Wheel with your phone.
The title of the contest betrayed some skepticism on my part about the whole project: "The Boston Detours Smartphone Field Test."
It was a test to see if smartphone-wielding Bostonians, and visitors, were willing, and able, to use their phones to interact with real world objects, through the magic of Internet of Things technology.
In fact it was a two tests:
- A challenge to passers-by: Can you spin this wheel with your phone?
- An indicator to see whether anyone really cared enough to participate.
Christine of Taza primed the incentive pump by offering two incentives: a Free Topping to your Taza drink, and a 15% off coupon for the Taza online store.
A Boston Detours Fun Pak included:
- 1 "Join or Die" sticker, an homage to the early Boston revolutionaries.
- 1 Magic Fortune Teller Miracle Fish -- nothing to do with Boston. Just quirky.
- 7 "Unhappy Boston" stickers with emojis adapted from a famous Boston Massacre illustration by Paul Revere. Included: two British soldiers, three fallen Bostonians, a sad onlooker, and a Colonist guy who seems to be fanning the flames of the conflagration.
- 1 15%-Off online coupon from Taza Chocolate
- 1 free topping to a Taza drink.
- 1 Skull & Crossbones protest stamp created by embattled colonists, to protest the Stamp Act.
You can see the contents of the Fun Pak here:
On a Monday morning, early, I dropped off twenty Fun Paks at the Taza Chocolate Bar. Christine tucked them in a drawer under the cash register.
The contest was launched.