Mobywan, a startup in Toronto founded by John Grant, Wes Johnson, and Alex Hockey-Sweeney, launched a new app for your iPhone or Android phone last week called Mobeo. Inspired by popular social tools like Foursquare, Gowalla and Twitter, this new app is a location-based game that uses your location in the real world to help you interact with your friends in new ways as part of your daily routine.
The premise of the game is that you leave virtual items behind on your way to work or school like banana peels for your friends to virtually ‘trip’ on, flaming cabbages for you to virtually ‘throw’ and personalized notes around your city for your friends to discover. Mobeo’s goal is to make your daily routine more exciting. Your privacy is ensured as Mobeo only shares your profile and location with the people that you choose.
John Grant, co-founder of Mobeo, told me that his company is focused on the “element of surprise” and on the social side of location-based apps instead of the gaming side. He told me that the company “wants to appeal more to the Mario Kart target audience rather than the hardcore gamers.”
The app is currently free to download on your iPhone or Android phone and the company is in the process of developing a BlackBerry version to be released soon. The Mobeo revenue model will consist of selling virtual goods for the game, supporting passive advertising (i.e. Dole could sponsor the virtual banana peels), location sponsorships perhaps by coffee shops like Tim Hortons and selling location-based gifts to purchase for your friends.
You can read more about Mobeo on the company website.