Smart, digital advertising is taking over. Hollywood has been ahead of the game with futurist movies where brands are displayed everywhere (remember Minority Report?).
Let’s look at four exciting new technologies you need to be aware of. You’ll be experiencing them as consumers and you could find yourself using them in your business life sooner than expected.
The Impact of Machine Learning
Behind the scenes, machine-learning is changing our online lives but how will it change our lives away from our PCs and laptops? Smart ads are currently managed by analysing data to pinpoint the optimum location and timing to display an advert to a specific target audience. Imagine if an intelligent algorithm could react to events as they happen. As you shiver on an icy train platform, the advert opposite you changes to tempt you with warming, sweet hot chocolate. As the sun bursts through the clouds it instantly adjusts to selling you a summer holiday. This intelligent machine-thinking is already here, with companies developing tools which enable brand adverts to adapt to external stimuli.
Personalised Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) arrived in our lives with Pokémon Go. For the first time we experienced mixing the real world with digital information and found it hugely entertaining. Now imagine if AR could trigger an advert that was relevant to you. Tapping into a viewer’s profile data, might for example, display an advertisement for a family car to expectant parents, or an ad for a sports car model if you are adventurous and single.
Imagine a future where we are all wearing AR hardware, and old-fashioned billboards will be converted into large blank canvasses. They will be anchor points for AR messages. This could make it possible, for example, to use the side of motorways for this new advertising medium to narrowly target car passengers wearing the AR devices without distracting the driver.
Augmented Reality – without a device
Using phones, glasses or tablets, AR allows content creators to manipulate the environment outside the home. What about a new type of AR that works without a device? Technologies are being developed that will work with our natural optical biology or the geometry of the landscape. Our own outdoor laser-projected technology, ECHO, for example, can create powerful, fleeting images using the sides of tall buildings. Through the effect of ‘Persistence of Vision’, you’ll see giant image dominating the city skyline without requiring any hardware.
Personalised retail shopping
Minority Report often comes to mind when discussing the shopping experience of the future. Do you sometimes feel as if Facebook knows you better than you know yourself? What would it be like if your shopping mall or local shop had this kind of information about you too? There is technology already available to advertisers to help them create connected personalised adverts inside stores and at point-of-sale. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies can track and learn your buying habits. All aimed at selling more to you as consumers and in the future enabling you to sell more as entrepreneurs.
These new technologies are certainly game-changers. As consumers and as business people we need to adapt as the future becomes reality.
Stephen Allen is expert in the digital outdoor media industry