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June 13, 2017 / paulio10

Advanced Trick for Capping Munzees

This article will probably only be useful to a very few (possibly none) of my followers who play the GPS based game “Munzee” on their phone.

Munzee, for those who don’t know, is an outdoor game where you hunt down QR codes (square-dots bar codes) that have been placed in public locations, often on light-poles or the backs of signs, and you scan them with your phone’s Munzee app – and receive points. A bunch of points, usually. Precious, yummy points! As of June 2017 I have 88,921 points (level 100).

There are many types of munzees people can put around public places, and different things can happen with some of the munzees (fire munzees can light other munzees on fire (and if you scan them you get more points), ice munzees can freeze you or you can get extra points, plant munzees can grow, etc.) There are a few munzees now that disappear and reappear, you have to get them only when they’re visible on the map, such as when the CEO of the company did not come in to work that day (a funny inside joke I guess). There are also virtual munzees where you only have to be somewhat near the location to scan it – no QR code required. Sometimes you’ll see those on a pond, just stand by the shore, click the munzee icon on the map, and click the scan button to capture (cap) it.

Munzee is a fun game that’s way faster and easier than Geocaching, if you’ve ever heard of that. The home base of Munzee is in Texas. You can even join teams, and get extra free stuff (like new munzees to place on the map yourself) if you meet group goals.

Anyway.

The advanced Munzee Capping trick I figured out is this:

If you’re approaching a location with a lot of people around and you don’t want to stand there like a dork trying to scan a QR code for 15 seconds, moving your phone around, craning your head, rotating your phone, whispering “come on….!”, and generally calling attention to yourself – there’s a way you can force it to scan in 1 second or less.

The trick is this: while approaching the QR code location (when you’re still 10-12 feet away), click the scan icon so it switches to “camera” mode, and hold your other hand about a foot in front of the camera lens, as if you’re trying to take a picture of your entire hand. You can aim it across your body so your two hands are horizontal in front of you, basically aiming the camera at your other hand without looking at it.  Keep holding it there while walking up … and when you get so close that the phone is the same distance from the QR code as it is from your hand, rotate the phone quickly to point at the QR code! It will scan instantly!

This works because your phone always does a handful of things to get ready to scan a QR code, before it’s ready to scan it.  It has to focus the lens – when the camera is first turned on, it has to sense how far away the center object is (center of the picture generally), then it has to adjust the focus to that distance, then (because it’s not exactly right) it has to focus in & out a couple times… all of this just takes too much time – precious seconds of embarrassment-causing frustration.

You have to get good at knowing where your phone’s focus is, in the space in front of the camera. Does your phone have its camera at the top, or middle?  Left side, right side, or centered?  Practice a little, looking at an object maybe 1-2 feet away and see if you can point your camera directly at it, so the object is in the center of the frame on the screen, not off to the left/right, or too high/low. Get used to your phone that way, see if you can “feel” that spot in front of your camera, so your hand positions it right every time. Position your hand at that exact spot while walking up to the QR code.

Using this trick you can now walk right up and BAM! scan that QR code. You don’t even have to stop walking. People looking in your direction won’t even know you did anything!

It’s a neat trick that I use upon occasion, like during Frisbee Golf season in the park that has a ton of Munzees along the pathways that I always like to visit.

If you want to try capping some Munzees, create an account for yourself at www.munzee.com. Then come back and scan this QR code to get you started! The game is free, and a lot of fun.

Munzee is a great way to get exercise, especially when the weather is nice. Just take a look at the map of the area around you and see how many munzees are all around you. I bet there are a lot.

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