Blog Post

This game turns Bluetooth into a high-stakes stealing match

If Aladdin has taught us anything, it’s that life as a pickpocket is a rough shake, especially when you have to do it to stay alive. But what if everyone around you had to steal to eat, to eat to live, so to speak?

That’s the premise behind PKPKT (pronounced “pickpocket”), a new game for the iPhone (s aapl) that turns users into virtual pickpockets, able to peek into inventories and swipe money from other players. The game gives new players $1,000, but everything else must be “stolen” from others. The app utilizes the iPhone’s Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capability to connect PKPKT users together for an opportunity to steal from anyone in close proximity. After the stealing round is completed, users can chat to each other through the same BLE connection.

According to Jeremy Schoenherr, the game’s developer, says that the game relies on the BLE connection to keep the game secure, and that the players’ identities are hidden so no one knows exactly whom they’re stealing from.

“All that data lives nowhere except the two devices involved,” Schoenherr explained in an email. “The app exchanges no personal information (there’s no link to Facebook, Twitter, etc.) so users can feel safe playing the game.”

Check out a video of gameplay below:

Schoenherr says that the app is optimized to help preserve battery life, so even when the game is running in the background, the BLE won’t drain energy in a noticeable way. He also plans to expand PKPKT to provide even more complex gameplay.

“I want to expand on the career aspect of being a criminal,” Schoenherr explained. “Moving up through ranks, earning tricks of the trade and unlocking new weapons to make the game more interesting in the long term.”

PKPKT is available for free in the iTunes App Store.