Travel Trends – Augmented Reality, What Was FriendFeed, Top Travel 2.0 Sites

Augmented Reality Is What Is Next – ‘AR’ for short.  We certainly did not coin the term or even break the first story about AR, but the possibilities of AR seem to be an excellent answer to one of the more popular questions that Mo and I get asked frequently…so, what is next?

Honestly people, can’t you just be happy with Twitter?

Well, we have talked previously about the Semantic Web and it’s theorized implications on travel, but never about AR.  However, this post from ReadWriteWeb and video from the firm developing this nifty little app seemed like the perfect introduction of AR to our readers.  So, what is AR?  Basically, it is adding a layer of information to the real world (around you), using technology.  Watch the video, visuals help.


(Watching via email?  The video is also here.)

Pretty amazing, right?  If you did not watch the video, at least watch the first couple of seconds.

So, you can begin to see the basic idea…adding layers or data to the world around us via using GPS, your phone and a whole lot of information gathering.  But let’s take the idea of AR to the travel industry.

A lot of us were just in Atlanta for DMAI.  What if you could have walked outside the Hyatt, pointed your phone at the 3 or 4 restaurants on the corner and determine via the ‘Urbanspoon’ layer which one was reviewed more favorably.

Or, pointed it around the Georgia Aquarium to learn more about the exhibits you were looking at. Or found the closest ATM.  Or the cleanest public bathroom.  Or your friends who have wandered two blocks over.

True, these examples are quite basic and do not show off the wide capabilities of AR, but for our purposes, they do give us something to think about.

And while much of this technology or searching ability does live within a product such as Google Maps, the visual benefits of AR has the potential to take this type of information to a much more usable level for the general public.

Keep watching for AR, it is what’s next.

Facebook Buys FriendFeed – If you are a social media connoisseur or just on Twitter all day, you probably noticed the news about Facebook purchasing FriendFeed.  And, I am guessing, most of you had not even heard of FriendFeed prior the announcement.  Well, think of FriendFeed as Twitter’s nerdy little brother…same basic idea, more features, but fewer users.  And while you can read about the speculation on how Facebook will utilize FriendFeed (see the article from Robert Scoble below), we will just leave you with this thought…if you did not have your brand name locked-up on FriendFeed, now would be a good time to sign up.

Top Travel 2.0 Sites – Our counterpart and friend from Openplaces, Jeff, asked us to participate in a little blog post about our favorite ‘Travel 2.0′ sites.  Not ones to shy away from sharing our opinion, we agreed:

Great question, thanks for asking. Well, I, like most of you use a pretty standard set of sites when traveling: Kayak for booking, Oyster for (some) hotels, Dopplr for finding other travelers and Twitter for staying in touch. In fact, I could argue that Twitter is the answer to this question regardless of industry vertical. How can you travel without it? But, for today, let’s try to find a hidden gem in the rough and rocky terrain that is travel 2.0.

foursquare – Let’s categorize this one under local travel for now. Part game, part social networking site and a lot of fun. The idea is simple, yet has the potential to break through the review site clutter. Sign up, find your city and ‘check-in’ each time you visit a location…restaurant, building, bowling alley, etc…each ‘check-in’ earns you points, badges and the ultimate prize of being named mayor of your location. Two quotes I love from the site: “think urban mix tape” and “We’re not looking for reviews here…more ‘go here, do this’ or ‘eat here now’ tips.” Plus, they have an iPhone app, perfect for people on the go. A small and simple site that just needs a little more participation (critical mass!) to take off.

Be sure to read the whole article, more good thoughts on what is a good travel 2.0 site from a variety of fellow bloggers.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.