Location, location, location.

Now we have finally just about got over the Oh Wow of augmented reality (see this from Sept 2009)

Will real location finder / seeker apps make AR really useful? I do think so, I think people will stop talking about AR and start talking about the effect on there lives. Even the Guardian has been running stories about Foursquare. (HERE) The latter being a bit of a geek out for London users being so American focused. Facebook will, we are told, be launching location based functionality shortly. This will stops the geeks dead in there tracks and open up the 'I am here' function to the Farmville generation.

What does this mean for brands? I think it could mean a bit of a land grab in the physical world. Who owns the digital shadow of a public space like a park? If enough brand advocates 'check-in' within a public space, does it appear brand owned? Just as Foursquare exists for now as a bit of fun for those in the know, so a mass marketed version would lose all the honest 'trying it out' attitude and expose the many loop holes.  It is easy to see how the current location based Facebook app test for McDonald's in the States will gain popularity. Offering extra value to high frequency locations in exchange for personal information (that is opening your Facebook page on your mobile within 400 meters of a store)

I mentioned a brand physical 'owning' real geographical locations, simply by placing brand advocates within a given space linked via smart phone tech. The real creative is bit is the why would I? well just as the free coffee from McDonald's is driving digital world activity so a personality led digital brand could drive consumers to find comfort in finding a sense of ownership in a public place where they know fellow brand advocates share values. Not forgetting the human inface to all this is best delivered via AR, which by now no one will have noticed becasue they are getting frothy over location, location.