Both Augmented Reality (AR) and Location Based Systems (LBS) are the promise of tomorrow. The first one to make it into mainstream is already in the pocked of every Smartphone owner. How’s that you say? Well, I’m talking about that great feature of GPS and your cell phone’s ability to load unique applications. Technology seems to know no bounds and I love all the great free apps out there. A couple examples are Google Maps and Weather Channel. You must have seen Google Maps by now and I check it incessantly for real traffic updates. Always check the 405 freeway before you commit to that route! The Weather Channel was voted number 1 last year as the best free app in iTunes. I do like free stuff and what a great way fro brands to extend their reach. I am now seeing banners sneak into my smart phone and not just in the web browser. Oh no, it’s to open my favorite Ski Report app and my tv guide called iTV! I am now seeing media to buy interstitials in games too. And now Foursquare is looking at a potential sale to Microsoft…. So there must be something to this Location Based Stuff when networks of people are created, media dollars get involved and public offers are considered.
And what about Augmented Reality? This seems to be the latest and greatest integration of virtual data living in our tangible world. Topps has developed 3-D trading cards and that’s just cool. Now Topps is nearly untouchable by Upperdeck and smaller card trading companies. They’ve both entered the world or MMOG (mega-multiplayer-online-games), but that’s another story. For Augmented Reality you gotta look at Urbanspoon, Yelp Monocle and Layar.
Now Layar is extra cool because it brings LBS and AR together in one application for your Smartphone. They are in my pocket and I can view the world from a new place. This is so important to advertisers, because there is a constant search for new eyeballs via new technology. It will be interesting to see the cost models built by media.
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