Collectibles and Augmented Reality

It was only a matter of time.  Virtual goods make up a $1.4 Billion (that’s with a ‘B’ folks) business and the demand is growing.  We have Chinese gold farmers and Farmville exclusive goods, so augmented goods can’t be far behind.

Right now augmented goods are tied to purchased toys as an “add-on.”  Metaio has teamed up with Bandai Co. to create AR extensions to their real world collectible cards.

I believe the next step will be adding augmented only items that exist in certain locations as a reward.  Combine foursquare and Pokemon and you have a potent combination.  Hit all fifteen Starbucks in your area and you unlock a “Coffee Critter” that shows up on your smartphone when you’re in the store (and you get a discount on the Double Latte Supreme.)  Are you listening TagWhat, Layar, Junaio and the rest?

And keep in mind augmented goods as status symbols don’t count unless other people can see them.  Other patrons should be able to see your critter following you or floating above your head just like a non-combat pet in World of Warcraft.  Trust me, people will go to unbelievable lengths to earn a baby dragon or talking penguin.  Value is all about scarcity and that works even in the virtual or augmented world.