Augmented-Reality Mobile App Sparks Outdoor Exploration and Gets Kids Engaged With Nature

Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library Partners with Pokémon GO creator Niantic to Launch New Augmented-Reality Conservation App

Today the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library (TRPL), in collaboration with Niantic LabsTrigger XR, and Future of StoryTelling, launched their new augmented reality app, Rangers Wanted. Through this innovative smartphone game, Teddy Roosevelt takes kids on an exciting adventure through the natural world via their everyday surroundings. The app presents a unique intersection of cutting-edge augmented reality technology with a strong emphasis on conservation. Targeted to younger audiences (8-16) but available to any age group, Rangers Wanted opens an interactive door to getting kids outdoors and invested in preserving the natural wonders in their communities.

“When most people think of smart devices, they understandably see an impediment to getting our kids off the couch. However, with this new app, we see a phone or tablet as the ticket to kids’ outdoor adventures. For better or worse, smartphones are an integral part of everyday life for younger generations. This partnership allows us to meet younger audiences where they are and launch an innovative approach to introducing them to Teddy Roosevelt’s legacy,” said Ed O’Keefe, CEO of TRPL. “This unique partnership between a presidential library and companies at the forefront of technological innovation illustrates our commitment to utilizing 21st-century technology to revitalize the legacy of a 20th-century icon.”

Rangers Wanted is kidSAFE certified and teaches young people to be responsible stewards of the environment while encouraging kids to get outside and explore. Like Niantic’s Pokémon Go app, this new game can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors and in urban or rural environments. 

“Whether you are helping an arctic fox catch its food while hiding in the snow or playing an active role in rebuilding a beaver’s dam, Rangers Wanted allows you to use augmented reality to learn about wildlife and explore your own surroundings,” said James Roosevelt, Director of Technology at Trigger and TR’s great, great nephew. “In this digital age, kids can use this technology to learn to protect natural habitats, gain an understanding of the impact that these animals have on their unique ecosystems, and explore new environments wherever adventure takes them.” 

The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library is committed to introducing Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy to history buffs, outdoor enthusiasts, and explorers of all ages and backgrounds. This new app furthers that endeavor by sharing the 26th President’s commitment to preserving the natural world with the next generation. The app is available for download here. The organization’s marquee library is currently under construction in North Dakota and is scheduled to open in July 2026. 

About TRPL: The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library is being built in Medora, North Dakota, and is expected to open in July 2026. This will be a library and museum truly like no other. Designed by the international architectural firm Snøhetta, the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library will be the only carbon-neutral presidential library and will function in harmony with the unique ecology that surrounds it, being a model of self-sufficiency.  

About Niantic: Niantic’s global-scale augmented reality platform and digital map power spatial computing experiences in the real world. Incubated out of the Maps team at Google, Niantic first created Ingress and then Pokémon GO, a cultural phenomenon and hit game played by tens of millions of people each month. Niantic’s Lightship platform, which powers Pokémon GO, also supports the company’s other games including Pikmin Bloom, Peridot and Monster Hunter Now. Developers use Niantic’s platform to build their own AR applications and experiences, either with the Lightship Platform or directly through the web with 8th Wall.

About Trigger XR: Trigger XR is the world's most experienced XR developer and agency. This company has a history of developing some of the first-of-its-kind XR experiences. Trigger XR was the first developer and agency to bring mixed reality, Web AR, and mobile AR app experiences to major studios. Trigger XR created and deployed some of the first AR lenses in the market, was the first to develop a 5G-powered AR live-data experience and a 5G-powered volumetric capture app.

About the Future of StoryTelling: Founded in 2012 with the launch of the first FoST Summit, Future of StoryTelling gathers the world’s top creatives, executives, and technologists from the storytelling world and gets them networking, sharing best practices, cross-pollinating, and collaborating. Today, FoST has grown into a passionate community and thriving creative studio devoted to mastering the potential of the digital age to tell powerful stories that make the world a better place.

A full media kit is available here


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Source: Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library