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June 1, 2006

New Microsoft project debuting tonight

Posted by Kim Peterson at 11:13 AM

Microsoftie Jordan Schwartz has designed a cameraphone scavenger hunt game called "Pixie Hunt," and is giving the game a test run tonight in Pioneer Square before unleashing it on the Where 2.0 conference in San Jose later this month.

It works like this: First, get a Flickr account for photos, a group text messaging service and a special program for your camera-equipped Windows Mobile or Pocket PC phone. The phone will download your tasks (like "take a photo of your team with the Fremont Troll"). When you take a picture, it's automatically uploaded to Flickr and tagged for viewing by other players. Everyone can talk trash to each other using the group SMS messaging.

The game has been described as a skunkworks project out of Microsoft, where Schwartz works on the Photos and Imaging Experience Team. The team handles the photo-imaging pieces of the upcoming Vista operating system and on the Digital Image Suite product.

On his blog, Schwartz said the game is just a prototype, and could end up as a free download from Microsoft.

Want to try it out? Teams of three to six people will give this a go tonight in Pioneer Square starting at 7:30. You get a Cingular phone with the application installed, a GPS locator and beer. You have to give the equipment back, but you can keep the beer. I'm not able to attend, so send me your reports tomorrow.

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