An Augmented Reality cache is a type of cache that uses Augmented Reality apps and experiences to help you to find the geocache. A code word, either in the physical geocache container at the end of the experience or delivered via the experience will be required to log the geocache. Codewords must be supplied when you are creating your geocache listing. The are called Augmented Reality caches because they may require actions or create experiences which may only be visible in an augmented reality vs. a real world physical item.
Augmented Reality caches may be similar to a multi-cache or Mystery / Puzzle geocache where you use an app and a specially created Augmented Reality Experience to work your way through an augmented world finding information, solving clues, resolving puzzles, entering locations (GPS co-ordinates) or providing answers to questions in order to determine the final location of the geocache.
Due to the nature of various Augmented Reality apps, they may not be available for all software languages or platforms, but it is expected that your chosen platform should be available to both iOS (Apple) or Android to maximise the caching experience for as many geocachers as possible. It is unlikely that a GPS unit will be able to handle the app so an Augmented Reality cache experience is likely to be limited to those with smart phones.
You should ensure that the app is available to install on the smart phone without having to create an account or charge to use. If you need to create an account to create your experience that is your decision, but avoid making your seekers sign up just to download the app or experience. Make sure you link to the app store to download the app player and to the Augmented Reality Experience you have created so they can be loaded.
One example of a working AR experience creation solution is MetaVerse at https://gometa.io/ where you can create and host your Augmented Reality Experience.
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gometa.metaverse&hl=en for Android
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/metaverse-go-explore/id1159155137?mt=8 for iOS (Apple)
An Augmented Reality geocache should have a final location with a physical container and a logbook and codeword.
Intermediate waypoints may be physical, virtual, linked by a QR code, a bounding box using your device's GPS or any other type of point you can imagine.
As a Augmented Reality cache will have a physical container they are dragonZone friendly and will add to the dragonZone experience.
Geocaching Australia has been using Augmented Reality in virtual geocaches since 2011 with the creation of the Dinosaur Virtual AR series in Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia. See https://geocaching.com.au/cache/ga3317 as an example of a simple Augmented Reality cache from that era. At the time you needed a smartphone, the current version of the Layar app and the Jurassic Science Week layer to see the virtual dinosaur. These Augmented Reality dinosaurs still exist and were the first step of the long journey to mobile apps, development of experience creators and the inclusion into the geocaching world.
Prior to that Virtual Reality was used to augment the caching experience in caches such as https://geocaching.com.au/cache/ga0483 which was a geocache hidden in the virtual world of Second Life.