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And boom, the business model behind the free MMO came alive today...

So earlier today, I had some free time to take some pictures around the Yaletown area in downtown Vancouver (an area with only a single portal to play with).

After taking the pics, I ran into a coffee shop to recharge my phone and to submit the locations to the in-game "NIA Special Ops" for potential future portals. And after submitting over a dozen locations, I turned on the Ingress app to check out the local chat, and I noticed a new portal near me, a grey colored "neutral" portal.

And another a few blocks away, and another, and another...

I clicked on the portals to see what was up, and saw that they were all places that ZipCars are located. I grabbed my latte and ran to the first portal and claimed it. Huh, I didn't know they had ZipCars here, I thought to myself.

The same thoughts ran in my head after I claimed my second, third and fourth neutral portals. Location based advertising in action.

And the local Intel chat was going crazy. "Somebody run to Cambie & Smithe!" "Hurry and grab Pacific & Drake before the Resistance gets there!"

Not only were people aware of what was being advertised, but they were RUNNING (if not SPRINTING) to its brick & motar location. Frikkin' genius.

Now imagine if Google sparked a deal with Starbucks or McDonalds.

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