The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference is here, bringing together creative people from around the globe and across industries, from film to music to technology. In celebration of the 2023 SXSW conference, Roboflow is launching a scavenger hunt powered by computer vision.

In the Roboflow SXSW Scavenger Hunt, participants of the conference, people around the world who join from home, and anyone else who wants to play are tasked with finding 25 objects. For each five objects you identify, you will win an entry into a contest to win $1,000.

The Scavenger Hunt has now finished and a winner has been chosen. After picking a winner, we wrote a deep dive that walks through how we came up with the idea for the scavenger hunt and how we built the application.

To start playing an archived version of the game – without the contest, since the competition is now over – click the button below:

Why We Built a Scavenger Hunt (and How it Works)

SXSW is as much a celebration of creativity as it is about exploring the environment of Austin and meeting new people. The Roboflow will be at SXSW running a workshop on building applications with computer vision (a teaser for next month's game!) and asked ourselves the question: what game could we make that would both showcase the power of computer vision while fostering the values of collaboration and meeting new people that make SXSW such a special place?

The answer: a computer vision powered scavenger hunt.

The Roboflow SXSW scavenger hunt experience

When you open the scavenger hunt and register an account, you are given five objects at random. The objects may not be assigned in the same order as the items assigned to your friends and fellow participants. We encourage you to explore Austin – or wherever you are – to find the objects on your list and help your friends do the same.

With that said, everyone is assigned one item in their first list that is the same for everyone: friend. Point your phone at a person and you’ll immediately have one item checked off your list.

Behind the scenes, we use the Microsoft COCO model and roboflow.js to run a computer vision model in the browser. When the model predicts items, a box will be drawn around them on the screen.

The competition has three levels, each progressively more difficult than the last. In the first level, you will find objects like “car” and “laptop”. In the second level, you will be tasked with finding objects like “spoon” and “tie”. In the final level, you can expect to be given objects like “vase” and “tennis racket”.

When you identify your first five objects, you can select a username. This username will be displayed on a leaderboard showing all players. The more objects you identify, the higher you will appear on the leaderboard:

The scavenger hunt leaderboard

Build Your Own Scavenger Hunt Game

The source code for this application is open source in the Roboflow scavenger-hunt repository on GitHub. The source code contains detailed instructions on how to deploy your own version of the scavenger hunt. You can change the model used by the game by following the instructions in the project README.

Play the Roboflow SXSW Scavenger Hunt

The competition concludes at the end of Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 (the final day of SXSW). We will contact the winner of the $1,000 contest shortly after.

In the coming weeks, we will publish a blog post detailing how we scoped out the game and developed the web application. For now, we hope you enjoy playing the game!