“This was before Pokémon Go even came out,” says Geoswap cofounder Jason Bamford, by way of introduction.
Imagine walking into a location and unlocking a wealth of information. Swarm, previously FourSquare, came up with a similar idea, where check-ins can grant you access to coupons. But Geoswap aims to change the geotagging game by organizing information so it includes more than just coupons. It includes a chat feature and a “geostory” feature, kind of like Snapchat’s local stories.
“If you’re not actively doing something that you enjoy doing, then you’re totally missing out,” said cofounder Jordan Gonzalez.
Here’s how the app works: you can use a one-tap login using your Facebook login or you can create an account using your email. Once you log in, a map pops up with a bunch of geotag pins on it, each pin will hold a wealth of geotagged information from Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp and more.
The idea is to keep potential uses for the app open to the users. “We want to organize information and we want it to be engaging,” Bamford said. “I’m at a concert, I’d like to know more about the performer. Or I’m at a restaurant, I want to know more about the chef preparing my meal.”
How’d it all get started? Well, just like most college startups, all three cofounders — Bamford, Gonzalez and Keith Doggett — were having a conversation with Bamford in his dorm room at the University of Delaware. They were tired of FOMO (the dreaded “fear of missing out”) and they wanted to be more engaged with their surroundings. This was a little over a year ago. The trio just completed the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship’s Summer Founders program.
But with every geocahing app, there’s the risk of location spoofing. Gonzalez says his team thought of privacy issues. “If you’re at a party with your family, you can post a picture of a baby and now everyone can see pictures of your baby,” he said. “You can also password-protect spots so people won’t be able to access your baby pictures, usernames aren’t necessarily just your real name.”
Another aspect of the app is geospot sizing. Right now the app allows for a geospot to range from one-tenth of a mile to an entire mile, which means some spots might overlap. “If there are two spots in the same location, a ‘spiderfind’ would pop up and you’d be able click on all of them,” explains Bamford.
Right now the second version of the app is being tested by 50 users in the Delaware region. The first version was tested by 200 users worldwide after being made available at no charge.