Showcasing Kiwi know-how on the global stage


We didn’t disappoint our global audience that expected Kiwis to do something different

– Peter Stevens,
CEO of GS1

Peter Stevens
Delegates catching up at the conference. An excited attendee using the GS1 Hunt mobile app at the conference.
One of the GS1 New Zealand team in costume at the conference.


Wowing the world

With a reputation for wowing the crowds and world-leading technology to share, GS1 New Zealand wanted to build a mobile app to showcase Kiwi know-how at their global conference.

“We wanted to find a clever way, and a succinct way, to deliver our message,” says Peter. The result?

“We’ve done what we intended to do, and we got the message out,” he says. “We’ve now got a number of member organisations wanting to use the technology.”

Screens from the GS1 mobile app.


Local team aims to lead the world

GS1 is a global nonprofit federation that manages standards such as the barcode. GS1 New Zealand is the local affiliate, owned by its New Zealand members.

GS1 New Zealand wanted to share what they had learnt developing New Zealand’s world-leading product recall service, so they could strengthen GS1’s global offering.

A delegate using the GS1 mobile app at the conference. The GS1 New Zealand team in costumes at the conference.
Two attendees discuss the GS1 app.


Mobile apps as a gamified communications tool

The idea was to create a game for mobile phones. Players would hunt for products hidden around the conference venue. iBeacons on the products signalled when players got close. When they scanned the product barcode they were alerted if it needed to be recalled. Each barcode earned points and a dashboard would display the leaders on a big screen.

Graphic showing how to use the GS1 Hunt app by scanning barcodes, checking if the product is being recalled, and viewing the leaderboard.


Testing the boundaries of what’s possible

“We needed to find out whether it was technically feasible, let alone fiscally feasible.”

“We had no idea what the project would cost — we honestly didn’t know whether meshing together iBeacons and a multi-platform app in a gamified way was possible with the budget.”

Peter also wanted to test whether the Agile approach would work for GS1. The budget available gave them two one-week sprints in which to tackle their challenge.


We needed to find out whether it was technically feasible, let alone fiscally feasible.

The auditorium full of conference-goers.


Meeting objectives and making a splash

Once the GS1 Hunt apps were up in Google Play and iTunes, the Kiwis hid the barcoded products around the venue in Brussels. To illustrate things that might trigger a product recall the team got into costume. Then they waited to see how the app went down.

“There was a bit of nervousness, to be fair,” says Peter.

Once they saw the crowd getting into the game the nerves vanished.

“People were going off, scurrying around, trying to find these products, click them, and then come back and see whether they had moved up the leaderboard. It was great,” says Peter.

“It was a fun project. Not just was it delivered well, we had fun doing it.”


It was a fun project. Not just was it delivered well, we had fun doing it.

Collage showing different screens from the mobile app on phones and iBeacons.