Augmented reality is predicted to be one of the major trends in tourism and we have previously featured 10 best practice examples of how augmented reality is used in tourism. Now, Foursquare as a very popular location-based service is also tapping into augmented reality as it has quite an entertaining nature by working on augmented reality features. Certain demographics can already use these features, which undoubtedly sounds very exciting. How can these changes impact on consumers’ social network usage and consumer behaviour? For tourism organisations and destinations, it is very important to be aware of these kind of developments in order to stay ahead of the competition (QRCodePress).
Why Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is on the market for a couple of years now, but only a small number of consumers are already making use of augmented reality features. On the app market there are hundreds of augmented reality apps available but some are just unusable because of information overload or consumers download them but never actually use them. So why is Foursquare investing into augmented reality features? The answer to that is quite simple: they believe it can be a powerful tool for consumers. After developing an augmented reality feature, consumers in certain demographics can now experience the world around them in a new way.
AR Foursquare Feature
Consumers can now view a location in real-time and this view is being captured by a real camera. The feature allows consumers to get superficial information about the location. This actually means that travellers for example could see if there is a queue at a restaurant in real time. For tourism, this could be a very helpful augmented reality feature provided by Foursquare. Currently, only Nokia Lumia users can actually benefit from this feature as Foursquare is testing the feature before it becomes available for the wider public.
Consumers and AR Features
Augmented reality features are supposed to have an entertainment value and consumers normally respond well to entertainment features. However, if Foursquare’s new feature will become available to the wider public soon is still unclear. However, it is an interesting step and with more and more consumers using their mobile phones for all kinds of things, Foursquare might tap into a field that is not being explored by other networks at the moment. The tourism industry certainly needs to be aware of this as there might be issues arising from the feature. It seems this is another step to increase the transparency of locations and can appeal to consumers on a social level.
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