I ran across this tweet this week which suggested that Munzee is going to give Geocaching a run for its money. I hadn't heard of Munzee before this, and decided to check it out. According to the website,
"Munzee is a real world scavenger hunt game where items are found in the real world and captured using your smartphone. You then level up and gain rank based on your score. Points are obtained by capturing other people's munzees or when your deployed munzees are captured by someone else. Munzee is based off of the fundamentals of geocaching and adds another layer of fun to the hunt. Badges can be earned by unlocking specific achievements."
It sounds interesting, but being one of the 66% of the population that does not have a smartphone, I'm unable to try it out. According to the Munzee website, there are currently 715 total players signed up (as of this writing), and 371 Munzees deployed world wide. I couldn't tell how long Munzee has been around, but 371 deployed Munzees isn't a heck of a lot. You can check the Munzee Map to see how many are in your area. In the San Francisco Bay Area, there are only three so far, which is pretty limited.
Call me cynical, but I don't see this activity posing any real threat to geocaching. People with smartphones may like to partake in both activities, but what I, and I think others, really like about geocaching is getting out into remote areas (often out of cell service range) either by bike, jeep or hiking boots, and looking for caches along trails and out in the wilderness. Munzee sounds like a fun, urban activity, but I don't think we're going to see very many 5-star terrain Munzees. Also, it will be a long, long time before I trade in my Garmin GPS60CSx for a smartphone.
Cache and Munzee On!