The UN Uses iBeacons To Scare New Yorkers Into Caring About Landmines

The UN Uses iBeacons To Scare New Yorkers Into Caring About Landmines

The Sweeper app allowed people to experience a virtual minefield around them.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 9 april 2014

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), in partnership with global digital marketing agency Critical Mass and renowned photographer Marco Grob recently had an exhibit at the New Museum in New York for the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

The exhibit, which featured portraits by Marco Grob and displayed various types of mines, also allowed New Yorkers to experience what it was like to be in a virtual minefield through an app called Sweeper.



The Sweeper app used iBeacons, a low-energy Bluetooth technology, to detect hidden transmitters located in various areas of the exhibit. When a user came too close to a transmitter, it acted like a landmine and detonated, filling the user’s headphones with the sounds of an explosion. It was then followed by audio testimony of a person’s actual experience.

The app also provided information about the type of mine that was detonated. Users were then invited to make a small donation of $5 to help UNMAS ensure no one has to experience the real version of what they had just gone through.


According to UNMAS, at least 10 people are killed or maimed by landmines every day. The organization works to disable mines and train local teams to do the same.

Sweeper is available for iOS and Android devices.



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