In these early days of augmented reality (AR), we’re learning a lot about consumer behavior and preferences — the same learning curve defined the early days of smartphone apps. One lesson so far is that consumer AR use cases will be fairly limited. It’s not a silver bullet and it’s not for everyone.
Local advertising is a $150 billion market, and is particularly conducive to AR, given the technology’s ability to qualify purchase decisions in the commerce-heavy offline world. There will be a land grab for this digital real estate as mobile AR gains consumer traction. There will be also questions about who “owns” that virtual space.
The lesson from the phenomenon isn’t for local tech companies to try and build the next Pokémon Go — but rather to build a similarly justifiable value exchange for sharing location. Advertisers and ad networks should likewise work with apps that have that higher likelihood of user opt-in.