19 MarPlacethings to bring Social Media to Augmented Reality?

Tech startup Placethings is doing what I’d hoped augmented reality would do, putting user-generated media into physical locations using the multimedia and geotagging capabilities of today’s mobile devices.

The service will capture any type of multimedia; such as pictures, video, audio and text and will ‘place’ this content in a physical location by linking it to GPS coordinates for others to view and interact with.

The company presented at the Mobilize 2008 Conference [video here].  At the conference they discussed how you will have the ability, with your mobile device, to create ‘persistent media’ which will remain tied to that location for others to view and even reply to.  This could transform the way we interact with venues around our home towns, help us to meet interesting people in our area, learn more about our environment and share relevant information about any place any time.  Think of it as writing on an ‘invisible’ wall, anywhere.

It’s a compelling idea that opens up a lot of possibilities.

You could post pictures of concerts, leave messages in places you know that your friends frequent or play location-based geotagging games.  Businesses could keep tabs on what sorts of activities are taking place local to their business and adjust their offerings or other aspects of their business to make better use of this information.  There are a million uses for adding an informational media layer to our existing experience. Not to mention that it’d be loads of fun!

In their presentation the co-founder, Dean Terry, mentions that there’s even a ‘secret message’ function so that you could leave a message at a specific location for someone.  When that person visits that location they receive their message.  This immediately makes me think of leaving digital love notes for my wife, but I’m sure you could think of some less nauseating examples.

I actually see services such as Placethings as poised to become more popular than the check-in trend happening right now with Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Buzz and the like.  Without going to far down the rabbit hole, my thinking on this is that check-ins are real-time; and for location-based services this could be a problem since it’s kinda like saying “I’m not home, please rob me“.  All of these services could likely do well to have a delay built into them for safety.

As for Placethings, I cannot say if it is real-time (likely it is) but the shift of focus from geotagging as person-centric to location-and-media-centric may be a healthy direction to take things.

What uses would you find for this? How would you use it or like to see it used?

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Joshua Guffey

Project Manager at Dependable Data Services
Father. Husband. Search Marketing Professional. Conversion Optimization Consultant. Love Rumi.
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  • We have a network of neighbourhood websites.

    It’s a multi blogger platform with the ability for businesses to setup profiles on the site, complete with blogs, products, coupons and room for testimonials.

    I have been envisioning exactly this type of interface that would allow people to leave their pictures, videos and other media as something that was attached to the business / location profile.

    Checkin’s are part of it, but while I’m less concerned about the security aspect, I think that you’re not always going to A: be uploading media from your phone to the location (I like my canon camera, but I take the time to geo tag a lot of my images in picassa – let that export to an API that could then look at those pictures in my flickr account and …. ya … fun stuff

    Anyway … cool find.

  • Aggregating other data like home sales, business license applications, fire station calls, police disturbance reports and other data that could be put on a map and time line would make for a much more complete neighbourhood picture.

  • Just ideas i was seeking out. Very well put too.