Augmented Reality and Social Networks

Social networking applications for mobile devices now also have the ability to use augmented reality. Foursquare is a downloadable application that allows users to "check-in" to locations. Users friends then are able to see where their friends are. This is enabled through geotagging. Using their smart phones at various locations, users can read information and write reviews that become layered on the location. In some establishments, the person who has visited the location most gets to be the Mayor of the Location and receives special rewards. For example, if the location is a bar, the Mayor may receive a free drink. []

Called a social augmented reality app [ '''Tagwhat'''] launched May 6, 2010 allows users to place tags on anything. All users can then see the tags and comment on them. Tags with text, urls, photos or videos can be placed on any location. From tagwhat, "By following others in Tagwhat, users are able to merge the AR worlds of others' with their own to form a completely unique social experience." The social networking part allows users to see public notes but also notes from friends.[,2817,2363481,00.asp]

Hot on the trail of geolocation and geo-networking is '''facebook'''. Eager to use the check-in function to increase marketing potential, facebook is poised to launch the feature some time in May 2010. One way that the check-in with facebook could be used would be for a location to allow free internet access, if the user checked-in and allowed their friends to be aware of the check-in. According to AdAge, location-based marketing is in an experimental phase. They liken the check-in to be the next big thing since status updates.[]

Augmented Reality with Facebook- Social networks

One of the major concerns of AR applications and the use of geolocation is privacy. Apps like Foursquare encourage users to be attached in multiple social networks and knowing the user's exact location becomes open and easily findable information. For those who want a more limited network and privacy, there is now an app '''Rally Up'''. Released in 2010, '''Rally Up''' bills itself as a network for "real friends." The application for iPhone and iPad will feature these options: Real Friends, Feed Friends, Lurk and Mute. With Lurk, users can check where friends are and the friends won't know the user has checked. The user can also designate some locations as private. [] While the application promotes itself as one that allows the user more privacy, the "Lurk" feature seems to go against that principle.

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