Thursday, 19 May 2011

The chirp revolution

Last october Garmin promised a big difference in Geocaching when announcing the Chirp, a wireless beacon that sends data to your GPS.

Now, 8 months later, there are already 10 chirp caches in the Benelux! That's just over 1 each month. That does not sound like a big difference to me! There are also no chirp caches in the Benelux with over 10 favorite points. CacheFreakTim thinks Chirp is an awesom concept. I think it is not making the big difference promised by Garmin.

There are two simple reasons. The chirp is too expensive and the functionality is limited. 23$ is simply a lot of money for an electronic device that easily gets lost or broken. Also the fuctionality is limited as you can only sent text or coordinates to a GPS device. Also, the functionality is almost equal to wherigo. If you enter a specific area, you get information from the chirp. Isn't that the same thing wherigo does? Revealing information when you enter an area?

More creativity in geocaching is delivered by beautifully handcrafted or cleverly hidden waypoints or caches. Not by delivering waypoint information in an easy and technically advanced way. The key for a good cache is the element of surprise. The magical combination of surprise by a chirp has not yet been created by a cache owner and untill this has been not been done, chirp does not live up to its promise.

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