I am a big fan of trackables: I am always excited to see a travel bug in a cache and will diligently inspect coins and TBs at an event and take note of their numbers for discovery. I also own more geocoins than I’m willing to admit to in a public forum.
There are some great discovery tools on the web, like Log Them All! and Project-GC‘s discovery tool, to help with long lists of codes, but it can be tiresome to enter all the codes, to rely on your handwriting or the quality of the image you may have taken in a rush at an event. Enter TBScan, an app for iPhone that allows you to discover and log trackables on the go.
The app is the brainchild of Nicolas Camenisch, a 15 year old high school student from Switzerland. The idea came from a discussion with his dad, an active geocacher who thought it would be cool to have an automated tool to discover trackables.
How It Works
You can log trackables in three ways using the app:
- The app accesses your camera and focuses on the trackable code; once it recognises the code, it will bring up the TB’s information (goal, owner, etc) and you can log it.
- If you have the pro version, the app accesses your photo library and will try to recognise codes you have photographed there (this only seems to work if the code is level in the image, i.e. photos taken at an angle won’t be recognised and you can’t move the photo around.)
- If all else fails, the app allows you to enter the code manually
The app is connected to the Geocaching Live API so needs an internet connection to work, however, the pro version allows you to save the data for later when you’re connected to data.
What I Like
Even though the app doesn’t identify the code every single time, there is the back-up option to enter the code manually, or to take photos and run them through the app later. Nicolas is constantly upgrading the app and has also put together some tips on how to maximise the code recognition.
A feature I really enjoyed was the option to create your own log template to discover a number of codes all at once.
The free version of the app limits the number of codes to discover to five at a time, so if you’re attending mega or giga events, the small price to upgrade is more than worth the convenience and the time you’ll save using the app.
I am really enjoying using the app, though I think having it at a mega event will really be its time to shine. TBScan is definitely a must-have for cachers who like to discover trackables.
Have you used the app yet? Let me know what you think in the comments!
© 2016 | Sarah Murphy | All Rights Reserved
Full disclosure: I received the pro version of this app for free. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own, as always. I would never endorse a product I don’t believe in.