December 21, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
When I interviewed the head of Geodelic in August, we discussed how soon it would be until users would launch an augmented reality app and see advertising. Brightkite is experimenting with that very concept with a change to their Augmented Reality app for Android. For the remainder of the month, Brightkite members can use the Layar-powered plug-in to see special offers from local retailers.
Brightkite members searching to see what others are doing will occasionally see a notification touting deals available at nearby stores. While you’re eating lunch at Panera and browsing the app, it would show that the Best Buy in the mall has special deals. This isn’t a temporary thing, as Brightkite promises that it will add more stores in the future. All advertising would have to meet certain targeting criteria under the new program, so you probably wouldn’t get Bed, Bath & Beyond ads piped into your phone unless you did something to make it think such a pitch would be relevant to you.
I’m a bit on the fence about such advertising because I don’t like ads in general; however, I much prefer targeted ads. Getting ads from Best Buy or Foot Locker makes more sense to a gadget-lusting sports nut like me than the Kohl’s ads I see on TV and in the newspaper all the time. Not that I have anything against Kohl’s, I just have no reason to shop there.