BrightKite Brings Augmented Reality to Mobile Ads

Augmented reality, or the use of technology to add to or alter what you see and experience around you, might still be in its infancy, but companies like BrightKite think the tech could entice both users and advertiser dollars.

The Burlingame, Calif.-based “social discovery network” is looking to cash in on its augmented reality ad technology. Today, the company announced the launch of what it claims is the first “augmented reality advertising solution in the U.S.

“Augmented reality is one of the hottest new tools out there and it’s no surprise that the first campaign to use it is one of the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailers,” said Brady Becker, founder of Brightkite, in a statement. “This initiative pioneers the latest in advertising – combining mobile phones, location awareness and augmented reality.”

BrightKite’s technology focuses on using the local benefits of mobile. The mobile app and site lets users check in to locations and let their friends know where they are at all times. Beyond promoting your current position, the app now lets mobile users view the world around them in new ways.

Like other augmented reality apps, users can turn their camera on and point it in directions around them to see what friends are doing in those areas. But the latest addition to BrightKite takes the augmented reality concept and adds an advertising twist. BrightKite partnered with retailers, bars, restaurants and other businesses to show users nearby stores and local offers in each location.