Brightkite's Augmented Reality Adds New Dimension To Your Holiday Shopping!

A new wrinkle in Holiday Shopping. One the hottest location-based social networks on the market today just added Augmented Reality to one's holiday shopping experience. Just point your smartphone's camera toward any shopping area and view more than you bargained for.

In a ground-breaking media campaign, Brightkite is pioneering a new revenue model by combining smartphones, location-awareness, geo-targeting and augmented reality. Partnering with the red-hot AR browser Layar, Brightkite's new advertising solution will provide users with data overlays of special offers in nearby stores. 

Up till now users of Brightkite's service could only see their friends' posts and photos around them. This novel ad format not only shows them offers that are both relevant to them, but also nearby. For the retailer, the campaign allows them to break through the clutter of holiday advertising campaigns and reach their shoppers directly on their phones as they navigate through their neighborhoods and go about their daily lives.  Retailers can targets shoppers directly on their handsets when they navigate within close proximity to store, restaurant or bar.

The Layar Augmented Reality Browser adds a new dimension to one's smartphone by having the device's camera not only display views but also superimpose photos, location markers and real-time comments by other users in the area.

Can't remember which restaurant you liked the time you were in a certain part of town? Just point your phone and see what you said about it. Check out this video for more insight into the AR capabilities that Layar offers Brightkite users.

The AR campaign is running on the Brightkite service through the end of December and is available on both Android and iPhone devices and the free Brightkite app can be downloaded from Apple's iTune Store.

While I am sure this first-time advertising campaign will run again in 2010, it might be wise to take advantage of what deals are still available while you are traveling about town. Happy last-minute holiday shopping!