STQRY App Ready to Use
July 29, 2013
By: Prabhu Shanmukam Ganesh
The San Francisco Arts Commission has released STQRY, an application that guides users to the Civic Art Collection’s art installations. Free of charge, STQRY provides everyone the opportunity to tour San Francisco’s many art projects.
What does STQRY do?
The application – available on iOS, Android, and Windows mobile operating systems – not only provides a digital map of notable art installations in San Francisco, but background information on the art installments. Available in over sixty languages, STQRY includes the location, short biography, and date of installation, size, and materials used to create the installations. Once you’ve become familiar with the art installations, you can customize your own virtual guided tours by selecting your favorite art or art events. The customized tours will be saved on each user’s personalized account. In addition to displaying a map of San Francisco’s art installations, STQRY presents users with extra information needed to attend the art galleries. For example, for the Carter Observatory, the application shows users the observatory’s open hours, ticket prices, and special events.
In order to personalize art for its users, STQRY does more than list favorites. After analyzing the user’s preferences and application history, STQRY provides a recommended list. This is projected under the “Explore” tab. STQRY’s Content Management System (CMS) allows users to update their own “STQRYs,” or visits to the art installations. After adding details to a STQRY by uploading a photo and quick description, users can access it under the tab entitled “My STQRY.” And since STQRY uses Facebook and Twitter, users can share their stories with their friends and family – smart way to get publicity.
Putting the “QR” in STQRY
Currently, STQRY developers are working on a new feature for the app called “Passport.” But to understand Passport, we need to first realize how STQRY operates.
Like the name implies, STQRY relies on QR code, or Quick Response Code. A QR code is a type of barcode; often, we see it as mosaic-like squares. Smartphone users can take pictures of a QR code, and they will be directed towards a link, receive a text message, or even an encoded image. STQRY successfully takes advantage of QR code. Each of the art installations highlighted by STQRY provides a QR code for users to scan, which contains a PDF file detailing the art’s exclusive background. With both STQRY and its clients advertising each other, STQRY users become aware of notable art installations, and tourists at the art installations become aware of STQRY.
What is STQRY Passport?
The new program, Passport, will grant users the opportunity to unlock certain rewards and achievements after obtaining a new QR code. This feature can potentially embed a competitive element to the application: Gamification.
At ResetSF, we’ve discussed many times the idea of turning a real life project into a game. We love chances to turn education, public forums, and apps into games. Although games are too often depicted as nothing more than ways to pass time, they can do a whole lot more. Games are inherently competitive, making it difficult for anyone not to actively participate for a chance to win. Using that mentality, there are a plethora of games that get users to join an important cause. For example, an interactive trivia game called Battle For The Bay teaches players the history of the San Francisco Bay and how to preserve it. Another game, Trash Tycoon, provides players the opportunity to compete for prizes by cleaning up a virtual city – 10% of game purchases help fight climate change. And now, STQRY Passport incentivizes users to visit and learn about San Francisco Art. What do Battle For The Bay, Trash Tycoon, and STQRY Passport have in common? They’re fun, and they get things done.
See for Yourself
San Francisco has many incredible art installments, zoos, galleries, parks, and more! With STQRY, you too can experience many of the city’s wonders. You can download the app on your iPhone or Android phone via the App Store. If you’re interested in San Francisco art, make sure to check out SF Arts Guide, San Francisco’s official live guide to local art events.