If you’ve ever envied Mario’s ability to pluck coins from thin air, Borglar has an augmented reality app for you.

At first look, Borglar is a game that superimposes boxes, medallions and other virtual items over the real world as seen through a mobile device. Rather than just scatter them around, Borglar uses the device’s geolocation capabilities to place these objects on specific GPS coordinates that are relevant to where the gamer physically is.

That’s when the app transcends the land of Mario, however. Borglar works with retailers and other businesses to make those virtual items worth something: an in-game powerup, a discount on a purchase, a downloaded song, or any of the other ideas the Borglar team came up with while talking with South by Southwest attendees.

In other words, Borglar puts a rather literal angle on brand visibility, while combining a touch of geocaching and gaming to the concept of social check-ins.

A user has to be within about 50 feet of the virtual item in order to collect it (by tapping on the screen). This means the prizes can be highly relevant to the player’s location, like having a cube float above a restaurant’s door that’s worth a free glass of wine with dinner. The campaign can also be more complex, requiring a customer to complete a scavenger hunt, or to collect a set of tokens from a chain’s various locations in order to earn a reward.

Once set up, businesses can run Borglar to suit their own needs. They can start a new campaign whenever they like, with immediate implementation, and then watch as players interact with the augmented reality premiums they’ve created.

Related links:

Borglar – press release