I wrote yesterday about the enormous potential augmented reality presents in the mobile world, and how close we are in terms of device technology to making the concept a reality.
Shortly after, the Twitter 360 iPhone app launched that combines Twitter’s new geo-location APIs, the iPhone 3GS’s compass feature and augmented reality to make one really slick iPhone app. In short, the app allows anyone to point their iPhone’s camera at any given location and be able to see their friend’s tweets overlayed on the camera’s image, including arrows in the direction of the “tweeter” and their avatar.
While the app is designed for users who simply want to see what their friends are tweeting about, and where they’re tweeting from (from a really slick interface I might add), I quickly noticed the enormous potential the app provides for mobile marketers. Not unlike the potential augmented reality in general provides for mobile marketing, the Twitter 360 iPhone app presents an opportunity that’s available now.
Businesses have quickly realized the marketing potential Twitter provides and have begun using the service to reach out to their customers and potential customers in new ways. With Twitter turning on location-based functionality, apps such as Twitter 360 can now know exactly where the businesses tweeting are located. Someone using Twitter 360 to visually see where their friends are and what their talking about can easily see what their favorite businesses are tweeting about as well.
This provides a huge opportunity for any business. Imagine that you’re walking downtown and want to see what you’re friends are tweeting about at the moment. You whip out your iPhone, launch Twitter 360 and start pointing the camera at various locations around you- down the street, up the street, behind you, etc. If you’re following your favorite neighborhood businesses on Twitter, such as coffee shops, cafes, etc., their tweets would also show up via augmented reality alongside your friends tweets.
If any of those businesses tweet out a coupon or some other offer as you’re walking toward it, you might be inclined to stop in and take them up on their offer. It’s location-based mobile marketing at its finest, and businesses have to do nothing more than tweet normally to take advantage of it.
Augmented reality is set to be the buzzword for mobile apps in 2010, as the stage is set for a plethora of apps to take advantage of the concept. Twitter and it’s location-based functionality is the perfect integration for augmented reality, and Twitter 360 proves that. It’s only a hint at what’s to come, but the future definitely looks bright from a mobile marketing standpoint.