We don't remember the last time we've run into an app that is as interesting as Fog of World.
Fog of World turns walking around into a game. The app challenges you to uncover a world map simply by exploring around yourself. It's a great way to remember all the places you've been.
The name comes from the video-game term "fog of war," where unexplored territory is grayed out. The more you explore, the more you clear away the fog.
Foursquare will remind you when you've checked into a place you've been before, but this feels like a fresher take on the concept.
Here is what the app looks like in action:
We got a chance to speak with the developer Olli Wang about Fog of World. Together with designer Sheri Huang, he runs Ollix, a creative and active software development company in Taiwan.
Wang says his dream is to travel around the world and be a great photographer, and he created the app to help him do that.
Here's a lightly edited transcript of our conversation:
Olli Wang: My dream is to travel around the world, so I want to remember everywhere I have been in my whole lifetime. I want to use the exploration map to memorize my entire life when I'm old and unable to walk. I also want to explore more of the world, so I can use the map to find places nearby but I've never been. After I started testing Fog of World outdoors at development stage, I'm always surprised by new places near my home but I had never been in the past 10 years.
BI: How long did it take you to develop the app?
OW: About seven months from the first day to version 1.0 submitted.
BI: What are you all doing to address concerns with battery life?
OW: We spent a couple of months to fine-tune the battery usage. Sure, we may reduce a lot of battery consumption if we lower the acceptable GPS accuracy, but that would also make those explored tracks not accurate, and ruin the exploration map. We also tried to find the best distance to ease the work of GPS. That's why iOS reports GPS locations to Fog of World every 40-50 meters when running in the background. The value is chosen carefully to get balance between the battery consumption and the accuracy of defogged areas.
BI: What are your favorite features of Fog of World?
OW: The exploration map, of course.
BI: Do you have an Android version planned?
OW: No plan yet.
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