Mike Boland: A recent and relatively understated development from Google could portend the future of augmented reality. Its previously teased “VPS” was released into the wild for a small set of users. For those unfamiliar, VPS (visual positioning service) guides users with 3D overlays on upheld smartphone screens. Sort of a cousin of AR, this type of experience could represent the sector’s eventual killer apps. Though we’ve seen the most AR success so far in gaming (Pokemon Go) and social (Snapchat AR lenses), it could be more mundane utilities like navigation that engender high-frequency use cases.
On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Coachella + Amazon Lockers, Colruyt uses Google Assistant, DoorDash raises $500M, Kroger launches mobile pay app, Crate & Barrel + Handy. Special co-host: Carsten Szameitat.
Several Superbowl ads touched on key themes in local such as multi-location brand advertisers (Burger King) and locally relevant technology like voice search (Amazon Alexa). And of course, there were lots of car commercials—an inherently local product category given the offline shopping component.
Last week, location technology company Foursquare announced its new Pinpoint audience segments product. Building from its large corpus of data on places, spatial movements and behavioral patterns, Pinpoint represents the latest in Foursquare’s evolution as the “location layer,” for the internet. We got the chance to sit down with Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck in San Francisco to find out more. Here is the full interview.
Mike Boland: Any entity competing for local commerce—publishers, brands, ad-tech players—has a looming platform choice for voice. Like the platform wars between iOS and Android, it’s a matter of deciding where to apply finite resources and development muscle. Maybe the answer is “both” Google and Amazon. But for now, Google appears to have the lead.
Among all the new AI-driven capabilities Google could’ve bestowed on its powerful Assistant, the company decided to focus on one capability in particular: a phone call.
The development of conversational language to interact with chatbots, digital assistants, smart devices, and other machines is changing the ways consumers make use of such platforms to find the information and services they want—and this change is only going to get more important for brands and local businesses to address.
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