Randonautica, which randomly chooses coordinates that it claims are influenced by how its users think, has become a sleeper hit of the summer
Spotted: Randonautica, a random location generator that claims to send users to locations influenced by their thoughts, has become a hit during the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Users simply download the free app, give their location and select one of a handful of “entropy” generators. The app then asks them to focus their minds on their “intent” before spitting out a set of coordinates, which the flaneur can report upon if they choose to follow them.
A beta version of the app launched in February to a distinct lack of acclaim, as users cited frequent crashes and the paywall that ensures the coordinates are not underwater. However, in late June a group of teenagers posted a TikTok relating how Randonautica led them to an abandoned suitcase containing two dead bodies. Downloads also increased dramatically once local lockdowns took effect and entertainment options were severely limited.
The app’s creator, Joshua Lengfelder, explains, “That’s really when we started blowing up. People were trapped in their houses and it gave them a way to break out of their normal routine. It’s one of the few activities you can do while social distancing but still stay safe.” The app has also spawned an entire community of people who see the strange in the normal. The official Randonauts Twitter account recently claimed that the world is approaching a “paradigm shift, where the extraordinary will become ordinary.”
Randonautica brings to mind another app we spotted last September — Raaago — which promotes serendipity by randomly selecting things to do, dee and eat while travelling.
Written By: Lisa Magloff