Augmented Reality Games

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Sometimes social media applications just move too fast-even for those of us who are addicted to watching them. A good example are the augmented reality apps for mobile phones. I’ve been sitting on a blog post comparing FourSquare and Gowalla–two of the top players in the space–but I never get it done because every time I turn around there’s new news! Now there are several new apps in the same space and it keeps on growing. In fact, a new site launched just to keep track of some of it at YouAreHereApps.

For me, Gowalla is a personal favorite. Not only is it more accurate from a GPS point of view but it’s graphically richer and that just suits my web designin’ heart. I like the idea if exchanging tokens, creating trips for others to follow. Foursquare is just so…style less. Gowalla is warm and fuzzy and that makes it more fun for me.

Foursquare is bigger in user base and more business oriented in my opinion. The ability for a business to make special offers when you get nearby is huge, and other augmented reality apps should make this a focus.

There’s a lot of discussion over who is really using the apps, inflated numbers etc., especially in the case of Booyah’s MyTown App. Which seems to have come out of nowhere with a huge user base.

I think recent developments at Foursquare are going to keep them at the top of the pile and because more of my friends are using it I will too. Remember when some of us abandoned Twitter for Plurk’s quirky interface just because Twitter was crashing? It didn’t take long before we ended up back on Twitter. Some of that was because Plurk was just too…Plurky, but it was also because all our friends were still on Twitter. Foursquare still has the largest user-base and unless some of these other games really get an edge I think Foursquare will remain the platform of choice.

Anyway, here are just a few of the recent updates in the augmented reality space.

  • Foursquare teamed up with Bravo TV to award special badges related to shows on Bravo (Top Chef, Shear Genius, REal Housewives to name a few) and real-world locations.
  • The true Foursquare addict can now sync their iCal calendar with their check-ins.
  • Yelp updated their iPhone app with the ability to check in, leave reviews and chat.
  • LinkedIn’s App now allows you to look for other LinkedIn users near you and share contact info from your phone.
  • Gowalla now allows you to create your own “trips” to share your favorites with your friends and bookmark spots you want to visit on the web site.

Here’re a few of the augmented reality apps I know of : Yelp, Stalqer, Rally, Causeworld, Gowalla, Foursquare and Booyah. Tell me which are your favorites and why you like ’em in the comments!

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  • A new one to keep an eye on may be Yelp. They added a check in feature to their mobile platform. I like Gowalla the best too, but the real reason I was using these was to let my friend cloud know where I was or to keep track of where they were during an evening get together. Yelp doesn't have any toys or prizes and is graphically less than the location apps you show, but I have noticed so much gaming on these just to get prizes that I believe Yelp will end out winning for my purposes.

  • Yes, it's interesting that Yelp is getting into the act. I prefer Urban Spoon to Yelp myself.With competition like that Yelp can't afford not getting into this space.

  • annejaa

    Well that's good!Augmented reality blurs the line between what's real and what's computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell.Augmented reality is one of the newest innovations in the electronics industry. It superimposes graphics, audio and other sense enhancements from computer screens onto real time environments.
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