When you hear the phrase “augmented reality” you immediately think of visuals overlaid on the world. And for good reason. But there’s no reason why audio can’t augment reality too — especially in a world where everyone has AirPods in most of the time. So I’m pretty excited by the Marsbot for AirPods concept from Foursquare — it feels like there’s a lot they can do here.

One fun idea, as co-founder Dennis Crowley explains:

Walk-Out Clips: Marsbot will let you know when you pass another Marsbot for AirPods user on the street (“Max is nearby!”), but why not make that moment feel like you’re David Ortiz walking up to the plate at Fenway Park? When you upload a few seconds of audio (your “walk-up clip”), other people will hear it as you pass by them on the street. (You can add your “walk-out clip” — or opt-out of these “nearby” messages entirely — from the Settings screen in the app).

In a way, this calls back to the days of Highlight (a location-based startup from almost a decade ago by Clubhouse founder Paul Davison). But again, it’s audio-first here, which would seem to make sense. To some (maybe even many) this will sound creepy. But in the early days, it seems like it could be fun for early adopters, and then you switch to a friend graph for this type of thing. Here’s mine.

Also, the ability to leave audio clips — verbal tips and tricks — and pin them to a place, geocaching-style, is fun. I’m sure there will be a lot of creative use cases for this.

Written by

General Partner @ GV (née Google Ventures). In past lives I wrote at TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and ParisLemon. A man of few words. Except when writing. 🍻

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