January 2012 – blogUT

Note: The original text has been slightly altered.

On January 23rd, Oohlala Mobile announced the transformation of University of Toronto’s St. George campus into a virtual playground. By downloading the app, Oohlala, students become contestants in a digital treasure hunt, utilizing the GPS on their smartphones to locate and acquire the treasure. The hunt involves three simple steps:
Step 1: Locate the treasure chest using the app.
Step 2: Obtain the treasure chest.
Step 3: Prevent others stealing it from you!
Other students using the app are able to snatch the chest if they are within 50m of the prize holder. Students must use their wits, determination and speed while trying to hold on to the prize over a 5-day period! The person holding the chest on Thursday, February 6th at 5pm is the winner of a high-end Macbook Air, while the person who has held on to the chest the longest without its capture gets a semester’s worth of text books for free.
Check out the game here: www.CampusApp.com

Virtual Capture the Flag is OOHLALA Mobile’s latest initiative to enhance campus life via the OOHLALA mobile app. The app also allows students across Canadian universities and colleges, along with their student unions, to connect with one another, form study groups, trade books, get notified of campus events, and access exclusive student deals from local and national retailers. Student unions (such as the UTSU, which has adopted Oohlala as its official app) and clubs are able to view metrics to gauge student engagement and success of events, allowing them to deliver a more tailored and engaging student experience. “Oohlala Mobile is all about energizing the student experience and fostering a more close knit feel on campus. We help students navigate their campus life and have a good time while doing so,” said Danial Jameel, CEO and founder of Oohlala Mobile. “An interactive and action packed approach, Virtual Capture the Flag represents our commitment to finding unique ways for students to explore their campus and meet new people without relying on clichéd forms of marketing such as campus flyers on crowded bulletin boards and Facebook posts. Mediums that are effective in theory but have become saturated to the point that a lot of useful information is lost in the noise.” Danielle Sandhu, President of UTSU, remarked, “Traditional forms of mass communication are often drowned out in a sea of information and are often ineffective when it comes to reaching many target groups. Today’s students suffer from stimulus overflow and short attention spans. We need to keep things dynamic. When people know they are in for an interesting experience – in this case, being a part of not only a live adventure but an inaugural use of a new technology – not only does it create awareness of their university activities, but it strengthens their affinity to it.” Concepts like these are challenging the paradigms of media and interaction. Live gaming apps are just but one of the innovative ideas Oohlala has planned for engaging the North American student populace. Students want and deserve to get the most out of their time in college and that is our mission.

Oohlala Mobile’s motto is to “Energize the Student Experience”. Since its launch in September 2011, the company, composed of students and recent grads, has been selected by tech/startup accelerator FounderFuel, adopted by the Canadian federation of students, and numerous student unions including those at University of Toronto, Ryerson, McGill. The company has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including top honors at the Rotman ADventure business competition, Kinnear Business competition, NBTC 2011 entrepreneur competition, Queen’s Entrepreneur competition, Bank of Montreal’s Apex business competition, and the Quebec entrepreneur competition.

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