Blippar may be the future of mobile advertising #CES

This time of year, people get excited about the Super Bowl, if for nothing else, than the commercials. But still, even the best commercials are one-way and non-interactive. At CES, I got a chance to meet with Blippar, an augmented reality mobile advertising firm.

If you are familiar with QR codes, you have an idea how it works, but this is like QR codes on steroids. You run the free Blippar app on your iPhone or Android device and point the camera at an advertising page, poster, or even candy bar wrapper that displays the Blippar logo. Instead of looking for an ugly QR code, the app recognizes the actual printed advertising, automatically. Upon recognition, which is quite fast, a virtual reality layer of interactive advertising is displayed above the camera view. By comparison, QR codes just take you to a web page.

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There are a limited number of 'Blipps' currently, but you should recognize the names. Nike, Mercedes Benz, Dominoes, Cadbury, Omega and more. The Omega version displays a watch which you can overlay on your wrist to see what it would look like. Other Blipps are more interactive, letting you play a game for example. There is a Blipp that lets you view a trailer for a Shrek DVD.

It's hard to do justice to a Blipp's level of interactivity in a blog posting, so try the free app yourself. Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of Blipps available yet, but it's a chicken and egg situation. The more Blippar users, the more likely advertisers are to adopt the platform, which should bring even more users. Given the superior experience to QR codes, here's hoping it takes off.

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP,,, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.