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The Oklahoman

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App allows users to look back in Oklahoma history, and win money

Do you want to take a walk through Oklahoma City history? There's an app for that.

Trifecta Communications is unveiling an augmented-reality treasure hunt, to take place across the Oklahoma City metro and introduce participants to real Oklahoma history. Participants will be able to use their mobile phones to view Oklahoma locations as they appeared years ago.

“What we've done ... is we've hidden clues to this treasure throughout the metro at specific locations and people have to figure out where they are and go find them, but not in the year 2018,” Trifecta CEO Brent Wheelbarger said. “They're all hidden in the past and the whole treasure hunt is hidden in Oklahoma City.”

How it works

Augmented reality adds digital elements to a physical space using the camera on your mobile device. Items and people will appear on the phone's screen that appear to be at a particular location, but in fact they aren't. Participants can walk closer or farther away, and even tap their screens when they get to certain areas and listen to clues and historical information.

The technology is growing in popularity for games and business marketing alike. Wine company 19 Crimes uses a “living label” on its bottles as a marketing tool, and the mobile game Pokemon Go was a hit among children and adults alike. If you enjoy the history of the former use of AR technology, and the gamelike use of the latter, this scavenger hunt is for you.

“The great thing about this, is it's all about us — Oklahoma,” Wheelbarger said. “It's not some national thing that everyone is doing, it's just our community.”

Wheelbarger hopes this scavenger hunt will expose individuals to historical sites in the area, as well as demonstrate the growing capability of augmented reality.

“We've been doing AR and VR in Oklahoma City for about five years,” Wheelbarger said. “There is a little bit of a challenge here in getting people to understand what it is and how it works and why it would be beneficial to them, so part of our goal is to open people's eyes to augmented reality.”

Game days

The first stop in the historical hunt will be at noon on June 8 at the 21c Museum Hotel in Oklahoma City. Scavenger hunters can download the app Folk Secrets Codex ahead of time, but they can also get set up the day of at 21c. On that day, participants can work to unlock the time portal and explore the history of the building, now home to the museum and hotel, as it was in the year 1916.

For five subsequent Saturdays, beginning June 16, treasure hunters will need to watch a 9 a.m. show on Facebook to uncover the location for that week's hunt. Timing is key for these five weeks because the first scavenger hunter to determine the location and work through the puzzle on site will receive $500. Each week will provide a new opportunity for participants to win $500, until the seventh and final week.

On July 21, the final scavenger hunt will take place at the state Capitol. Players will need to have visited all six other locations to be eligible for the prize at the Capitol, which is $1,000 for the winning player, and also includes $1,500 to be donated to an Oklahoma school of choice for history education.

“That's really what started this,” Wheelbarger said. “This is a passion project of ours. We really felt you can engage kids better with history than you typically do. And the idea that, ‘Wow, you can actually step into history and interact with it,' was kind of a neat idea.”

Related Photos
<p>Kenna Jackson, with Trifecta Communications, uses an augmented reality app on her mobile phone to view the 21c Museum Hotel building as it would have appeared in 1916. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman]</p>

Kenna Jackson, with Trifecta Communications, uses an augmented reality app on her mobile phone to view the 21c Museum Hotel building as it would have appeared in 1916. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e7bd1d2fb859bbd55201e12d95270ca2.jpg" alt="Photo - Kenna Jackson, with Trifecta Communications, uses an augmented reality app on her mobile phone to view the 21c Museum Hotel building as it would have appeared in 1916. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman] " title=" Kenna Jackson, with Trifecta Communications, uses an augmented reality app on her mobile phone to view the 21c Museum Hotel building as it would have appeared in 1916. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Kenna Jackson, with Trifecta Communications, uses an augmented reality app on her mobile phone to view the 21c Museum Hotel building as it would have appeared in 1916. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-264d4b40a60d12199997cc8d2ed7c7d9.jpg" alt="Photo - This still image from a mobile device reveals an augmented reality time portal at 21c Museum Hotel, ready for scavenger hunters to use as they learn about Oklahoma City history. [Photo provided] " title=" This still image from a mobile device reveals an augmented reality time portal at 21c Museum Hotel, ready for scavenger hunters to use as they learn about Oklahoma City history. [Photo provided] "><figcaption> This still image from a mobile device reveals an augmented reality time portal at 21c Museum Hotel, ready for scavenger hunters to use as they learn about Oklahoma City history. [Photo provided] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5ebd0ddce6fe4ecf2ccd36c91dc448b9.jpg" alt="Photo - Kenna Jackson with Trifecta Communications demonstrates an augmented reality scavenger hunt app on a smartphone at the 21C Hotel. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman] " title=" Kenna Jackson with Trifecta Communications demonstrates an augmented reality scavenger hunt app on a smartphone at the 21C Hotel. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Kenna Jackson with Trifecta Communications demonstrates an augmented reality scavenger hunt app on a smartphone at the 21C Hotel. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d230d64d829af3ba23db032e98ead945.jpg" alt="Photo - Kenna Jackson, with Trifecta Communications, observes the 21c Museum Hotel building as it would have appeared in 1916 through an app on her phone. [Photo by Steve Sisney] " title=" Kenna Jackson, with Trifecta Communications, observes the 21c Museum Hotel building as it would have appeared in 1916 through an app on her phone. [Photo by Steve Sisney] "><figcaption> Kenna Jackson, with Trifecta Communications, observes the 21c Museum Hotel building as it would have appeared in 1916 through an app on her phone. [Photo by Steve Sisney] </figcaption></figure>
David Dishman

Business Writer David Dishman has worked as a journalist in Oklahoma since 2014 covering business, education, local government, healthcare and more. He worked as a reporter in southeast Oklahoma... Read more ›

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