@tim has a big piece in today’s FT about Augmented Reality and its potential in advertising. In addition to trying out the FT’s AR app, you could also try Intel’s thin laptop app and check out the AR magician on YouTube. The former two require flash, a webcam, printer and miscellaneous plugin. The latter requires flash, headphones and some imagination.
Augmented reality is awesome and full of practical potential – in design, medicine, gaming and no doubt a dozen other fields – but I’m not surprised its kicking off in marketing first. We seem to be a good test bed for this kind of stuff and have a few people willing to take chances on reasonably nascent technologies.
Charlie Stross’ Halting State has a number of interesting applications (Google Maps overlays, WoW overlays, police grid overlays amongst them) and is well worth a read if you’re into the topic (and Sci-Fi).