Gary Hayes has done an awesome job of putting the Business into social Augmented Reality. Augmented reality is where a device puts an overlay over the real world. E.g. view a scene through your mobile phone camera and additional bits and bobs pop up. Social Media Marketing meets Physical World.

16 Top Augmented Reality Business Models

There will be hundreds of business, and educational applications alongside the many 1st generation entertainment examples currently emerging. As usual the video game and porn industries are pioneering the research and development of the technology but we are about to see a plethora of more mundane utility & life enhancing applications about to swamp the market. Combine this with hundreds of space cadet ‘toys’ and viral fluff and we start to see the beginnings of a large industry. Of course the usual caveats apply but unlike say virtual worlds which suffered from too much early hype, these apps are much more accessible to anyone with a decent smart phone, up to date games console or computer with webcam – there is a big difference.

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Click, then click ALL SIZES for full view: Augmented Reality Business Models by Gary Hayes

You really need to read the rest, to understand the huge implications this will have. Let me show you one of my fave videos – I’ve shown this a few times now at conferences:

Scary if you are an individual thinking about privacy – facial recognition software (now built into Mac software) will dob you in. But imagine for a moment all security cameras using this. You walk into a store and before you’ve picked out your first pair of shoes to try on, your phone buzzes and you have a tweet saying the store is following you on Twitter. Or a message inviting you to join their fan page. Ok not strictly augmented reality but it DOES remind me of Cory Doctorow’s Scroogled – the day Google turned Evil. All about Google taking over ‘net connected surveillance cameras, while storing your search profiles.

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Me, I’m investing in companies that make USB connected Facemasks. TAKE THAT SPY CAMERA CONNECTED TO FACIAL RECOGNITION CONNECTED TO AUGMENTED BUSINESS REALITIES!!

By the way, I think this sort of technology can be used for good as well as evil. I just find evil more fun.

Gary will be talking about augmented reality at Social Network and Online Collaboration conference and also SPAA both in November.