SAN FRANCISCO, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On a mission to use smartphones to encourage, rather than discourage, face-to-face social connection, the Dinamundo App for iPhone™ launched today as a free social check-in app that rewards real-world connections with comedy. Dinamundo™ was founded by former Expedia, Inc. CEO Erik Blachford, and is launching with seed financing from True Ventures, a premier early stage venture capital firm.
The Dinamundo App for iPhone is free to download and easy to use. A user simply asks a friend to scan his or her custom Dinamundo QR (quick read) code to unlock and read out a funny "fortune cookie." He or she can then return the favor. Users receive new humorous fortune cookies with every scan, such as:
"Stop doing such a thick Spanish accent when you order a burrito.
You're making the staff uncomfortable."
"As long as you keep smiling and nodding, no one will know how lost you are."
The fortunes are written by professional comedians, including Sam Morril (@sammorril), named a 2011 "Comic to Watch" by Comedy Central, and Avery Monsen (@averymonsen), co-author of "All My Friends Are Dead" and other comedy titles.
"Everyone talks about unplugging, but very few of us are able to follow through. So instead of asking people to pretend they're unplugged, why not find a way to use smartphones to enhance real-world connections? That's the core concept behind Dinamundo. It's about checking in to friends, not just places," said Erik Blachford, Founder.
Dinamundo includes a "Players Near Me" section in the activity tab, allowing players to meet up with other nearby players to unlock new fortune cookies. Users can post their fortunes to Facebook, and can use the app to keep track of the friends with whom they've "done the Mundo." Dinamundo's technology puts players into the "Players Near Me" list whenever the app is opened, and respects privacy by allowing users to opt out of the feature. The list has an approximately one-mile radius, geared towards a night out on the town and special events.
The Dinamundo app for iPhone aims to harness three powerful principles of social media to facilitate face-to-face interactions:
1) Every day millions of people check their horoscopes and read the comics online or on Twitter. Then they share what they've read with friends and colleagues for a laugh, often just by showing what's on their phone screen to the people they're with.
2) Telling your Facebook community who you are with is a powerful social broadcasting tool. Dinamundo makes it easy to use "public displays of connection" to reinforce real-world friendships.
3) People like to keep a diary or scrapbook of where they've been and who they were with at the time. Dinamundo makes it easy, and adds the bonus element of storing the humorous fortunes that were shared.
"We expect that most people will use the app with their friends at first. They'll get a laugh out of the fortune cookie messages, share the messages with their Facebook friends from within the app, and encourage other friends, colleagues and acquaintances to play as well. Over time we see an opportunity for Dinamundo to be tailored for use as a conversation ice breaker at events such as industry conferences," said Blachford.
About Dinamundo Technology – Why Use QR Codes?
Dinamundo uses QR codes because they are simple to use, easy to understand, and fun to work into designs. At installation, every player receives a unique QR code based on one of the four elements – air, water, earth, sky. Each code carries only the personal information required to unlock the fortune cookie (Dinamundo does not transfer contact information between users).
Dinamundo's QR code scanner is built into the app and does not require a separate scanner app. Anyone using a separate QR scanner app to scan a Dinamundo QR code will be directed to the App Store to download the Dinamundo app.
Dinamundo runs on the iOS 4 and iOS 5 operating systems and requires either a 3G or Wi-Fi network connection. Dinamundo is not a background app and therefore does not drain the phone's battery as much as it would if it were constantly attempting to locate other nearby players. Instead, Dinamundo establishes geographic location only when a user opens the Activity tab in the app, to populate the "Players Near Me" section of the activity tab.
About Dinamundo, Inc.
Dinamundo is a new company based in San Francisco, with a mission to use smartphones and comedy to encourage face-to-face connections. Dinamundo is seed funded by True Ventures and was founded by Erik Blachford, who is an active early stage investor and board member of Zillow, GlassDoor, Bloomspot, Liftopia and Terrapass. Erik also has served as CEO at Expedia, Inc., Terrapass and Butterfield & Robinson.
For more information:
Erik Blachford, Dinamundo Founder