Phone app draws attention to urban wilderness

Two artists from University of Rochester have designed a mobile phone app that encourages users to explore urban wilderness. Indeterminate Hikes (IH+) plots a random, indirect course the city. It is designed to increase awareness of of the urban environment.

When following the route, users may be asked to take a photograph with their phones at selected points, write a “field note” on their phones, send a text message to someone, or perform a particular task—all in response to their surroundings. “Hikes” are intended to be performed in groups and with one phone, to make the experience socially interactive.

I’m not a mobile app user, but this arouses my interest. It encourages people to slow down and perceive, rather than just past through the world. I’m due to update to an android device soon, and intrigued to try this out.

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