Don’t you hate it when you watching a very interesting tv show and an ad comes up? Ignoring adverts is no longer an option, it’s about to get a lot tougher with the development of billboards and advertising posters that use Bluetooth to beam video ads directly to passing cellphones.
As people walk in malls go past the billiards/posters they will receive a message on their phone asking them if they wish to accept an MMS advert. If they do, they can either receive movies, animations, music or still images further promoting the advertised product. This is called bluecasting or blue magic.
Nokia has taken bluecasting to another level, they have created posters fitted with Bluetooth technology that allows people to download maps of the local areas that have highlighted cool shops, bars, galleries and restaurants. They partnered with Superfuture, an internet-based urban city guide, where users can download maps highlighting interesting places worth exploring in that area.
Blue Magic opportunity
In India there are some temples which offer ringtones, wallpapers of gods and some other content using bluecasting. They have capitalised on bluecasting for religious purposes.
Imagine if other South African media houses or advertising organisations, have looked at this model of advertising or spreading information for their industries.
This could open such great opportunities for customised advertising. For instance if one is in a certain place and Bluecasting can customised ads according to the place you’re in.
Customised advertising via Bluecasting can target those in a particular place and advertise restaurants, bookshops, movie houses, school plays etc.
Blue Magic Dangers
The danger with bluecasting is that downloads can be corrupted and exploited to inherent vulnerabilities in particular hardware, causing it to crash.
Another danger is how companies can persuade users to accept the adverts once the novelty has worn off? This may be quite possible as people get over trends quite quickly. However, I think this can be avoided via good marketing strategies.
Content needs to exclusive or valuable to consumers, content also needs to actively persuade consumers to consume it, for example get vouchers for certain shops.
Other software companies, such as ScanBuy in New York and Semacode in Ontario, have been experimenting with making posters interactive by having 3D bar codes printed on them. Their software allows a phone camera to scan the code and launch the phone’s browser at a particular e-commerce site – to buy concert tickets, for example.
Magic taking over television
Whatever content is downloaded onto the cellphone it can be bluetoothed to television sets where the image, video etc can seen on a large screen. This creates interactive TV (also referred to iTV) where information flows not only from broadcaster to viewer, but also back from viewer to broadcaster.
Lets now turn our sights to a similar wave of communication…widgets. This will soon take off, in fact Yahoo and Intel are ramping up their TV platform to enable access to weather, stocks and news information on the TV.
This proliferation of widgets could come at a cost, however this (along with bluecasting) if they merge can dramatically change how viewers live and take in advertising.
For example imagine if TV widgets and devices/programs such as Bluecaseting merged? Well you can probably get interactive television that can allow:
- T-commerce: You will be able to buy a pizza without dialling a phone.
- Interactive Goodies: You will be able to pause live TV or record shows. You will be able to click on advertisements to “find out more”.
- Families will be ordering gifts through their TV sets, choosing camera angles while watching their favourite sporting events and sending email to friends.
This is where the next generation of human beings is going to, inside this cycle of persuasion, observation, refinement, and new persuasion.
It may be pleasant for some and it can possibly be hellish too as such merges or advertising can be intrusive. But if you get annoyed, just switch off your bluetooth.
As for advertising companies new media tools ( such as bluecasting) can bring in a great deal of revenue.
Futureye signing out.
Post last updated and corrected on 12th August 2009.