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The Internet of Things: Not just a bunch of junk

By Nick Halas – Head of Futures at Posterscope
Throughout time, storytelling has consistently predicted the future, correctly or incorrectly. When Robert Metcalf invented the revolutionary Ethernet cable in 1973, he publically predicted his invention would be useless in a year or he’d eat his words. A year later he did.
Predicting the next big thing isn’t easy, but how do so many sci-fi dudes get it right? Back to the Future Part 2, was released 17 years ago in 1989, and still managed to accurately predict smart eye-wear evocative of today’s Oculus Rift and Google Glass, that could also receive phone call notifications.
Although we’re still waiting on several other predictions the film made to become a reality, including Hoverboards, this movie foretold the Internet of Things (IoT) where all devices play multiple functions through a connected digital network.
Before writing the script for Minority Report (2002), Director Steven Spielberg consulted with industrial designers, futurists and advertising professionals in order to accurately predict what a future world would look like. This would explain why Minority Report features tech innovations we’re now familiar with like facial recognition, personalised outdoor advertising, swipe and pinch-to-zoom touch screen motions, tablets and motion-recognition software, the list keeps growing!
These storytellers accurately brought to life what we now call the IoT which has become a fully founded reality, but what does that mean for advertisers? Until now we’ve left sci-fi to the movie creatives and adopted new technology at a slower pace than what we’ve previously seen as far flung predictions in the movies. This is no longer so far away, the main message at every tech conference I’ve attended this year is how the IoT will revolutionise the way we communicate.
There’s been a lot of airtime allocated to the IoT, but this discussion tends to always be future facing, explaining what could be, often without a clear, real life application for each innovation. This is what the formerly mentioned film creatives did so well – visualising the benefits the IoT would bring to consumers and displaying the functional benefits by applying a practical application to the technology.
So what do I think the IoT will look like and how will it evolve over the next few years? I believe this depends on whether the advertising industry as a whole takes up the challenge to innovate in a truly functional way when creating campaigns instead of letting the tech lead. In order to do this, we need to begin focusing on the following areas:
Functionality
To successfully adopt the IoT as an advertising medium, the industry needs to start with identifying the problem that needs to be solved, which should then inform the tech solution.
Currently a lot of IoT innovations are just replicating other technology in more streamlined ways, like the smart watch which is basically another iteration of the smart phone. When enchanted objects – objects that we use in our everyday life with an enhanced purpose – become commonplace we will have reached a functional moment for the IoT.
Enchanted objects will have a much bigger place in our lives as we begin to build technology into objects we already have another function for. This will not be another TV hat, but instead objects that we actually use in our everyday life with heightened features, like a wire enabled pocket instead of simply putting devices in our pockets.
Connectivity
The IoT is basically just a bunch of useless technology until we start to focus on connectivity, and not just connectivity between one device and another, the interconnectivity that creates an ecosystem of functionality for the user.
We often get so wrapped up in the innovation of new devices, that we forget devices need to connect across channels for them to be truly effective and a functional part of the IoT. Therefore the growth of operating systems will become more important than the tech – as this will provide the advertising advantage.
Infrastructure and Operating Systems
Often the IoT is relying on an entirely artificial infrastructure, a lot of which hasn’t been tried and tested over a long period of time with multiple connected devices.
Maybe we’re running before we can walk but we definitely need to improve the infrastructure the IoT relies on. Part of this infrastructure will be developing operating systems that not only connect devices, but connect across media channels so that the IoT can become a truly integrated approach.
IoT and out-of-home (OOH)
So, where do I think the IoT will take the OOH industry? Beacons, image recognition, CRM payments, transport tracking and device pairing are all part of the future for OOH. We’ll be seeing greater collaboration with digital and mobile campaigns, both as an extension network and as a platform for the delivery of dynamic personalised messaging.
What we often come up against in the OOH world is how do we turn a great one-off campaign into a scalable campaign that yields results for our clients? To make this leap with the IoT, we need to start thinking beyond campaigns that are ‘an industry first’ and therefore a must share and start to plan participation based campaigns.
There are definitely sceptics, and developing the IoT in the OOH space will definitely be a learning process. A quick scroll through Twitter and you come across the account @internetofshit which highlights useless tech, created for the sake of adding another gadget to the IoT rather than for a specific purpose. Here at Posterscope, we’re ready for the challenge, we’ll try to push the opportunities of connectivity and will continue to work with partners to develop infrastructure and operating systems to aid OOH’s access and advertising potential to the IoT.
Maybe if that Hoverboard does ever get off the ground, it will be able to instantly notify the OOH advertising the locations it’s travelled in order to trigger a personalised ad. In turn the OOH advertising will notify the user when they need to recharge the board, and the closest location to so. Then we’ve really gone full circle and put the intelligence at the heart of technology, making the technology the decision maker – but that’s a whole new can of worms!

Pokémon Go and All That

Facial recognition, smart mirrors, Pokémon Go – is your live event digitally optimised? MKTG’s Michael Brown explores what a new experiential agency should look like if it set up in business right now.

Digitally optimised experience

Last month we hosted a bit of a do at our place snappily entitled ‘Digitally Optimised Experiences’. The name held enough promise about it to suggest that some essential career-enhancing knowledge would be uncovered, and we attracted a stellar line up of both speakers and guests – thanks for coming!
Just in case you were otherwise engaged or your hair had an inescapable appointment with the shampoo, we were taking a look at what has been a kind of slow motion collision between the formerly analogue world of experiential marketing, and the digital asteroid that has knocked planet Experiential off its gravitational axis. A merger of sorts that has the potential to create a yet more dynamic, yet more personalised, yet more measurable and yet more scalable form of live marketing.
We had the joyful folk from Cadbury talking about using experiential to create brand content as a narrative arc for storytelling. They stressed that ensuring content is developed and optimised to the channels in which you tell the story is paramount, particularly with social, and for Digital Out of Home where you have the merest slither of a second to grab that much wanted attention, and no audio to help with that!
We also had those social shakers from Snapchat showing us how their filters are being used to add new dimensions of engagement to live experience.

Smart Mirror

Another highlight was Matt Gee, head of digital transformation at Isobar (currently digital agency of the year in 18 different markets). Matt demonstrated how facial recognition will be used with mobile to make secure purchases, and other variations of Internet of Things technology, that could break into the traditional weak points of a brand experience and improve upon it.  The examples on show forced us to think about experiential in an entirely different way – less of an immersive, linear experience created in a dedicated public space in which a stream of people rock up, take part, and roll out again, and rather as a medium that intervenes in short, sharp shocks in places where it is most relevant, and is closer to the point of purchase.
Particularly impressive was a smart mirror for fashion retail fitting rooms: Try something on, the colour does not quite suit or you need another size up. Tell the mirror and it shall be delivered to the changing room, rather than having to peak around a curtain in your pants and holler at an inattentive shop assistant. Like what you see, no need to go back out to join a queue to pay – purchase it with the mirror, order that it be delivered home and walk out free of carrier bags. With ideas like this you can see how a brand experience may enhance a whole day out, and not just the moments a customer spends with your particular brand. Such an approach will encourage hugely warm feelings in your target audience and may set you on the road to becoming a trusted brand with high loyalty scores.

Blueprint for a new agency

In many ways, our little event was a blueprint for what an experiential agency might look like if they were to set up in business right now, today, this minute!
The first instinct of a new agency might well be very different to the heritage agencies when crafting a campaign strategy. They might prioritise the conception of the digital experience at the ideation stage and then develop the blend between the digital experience and its physical manifestation in a live setting: what might be thought of as a ‘Phygital’ approach to doing things (Happily, the word was not my invention). Or it might simultaneously conceive of a campaign idea as a seamless entity in which your smart device acts as a portal to mesh the touchy-feely physical world with the digital, and so create a new and compelling enhanced experience.

Pokémon Go

Your correspondent was recently a visitor to world heritage site Stonehenge, where a significant portion of visitors where not as engaged with the sacred stones as perhaps English Heritage might like them to be. Instead, they were adding to their experience by playing Pokémon Go! Whether or not this is a good thing is a philosophical moot point, comparable to holding your phone up to film an entire gig without actually looking at the stage, and it is probably a generational argument.
Visibly, the people playing were totally engrossed in their engagement between two worlds – a kind of hyperspace between physical and digital, except this demographic may not recognise it in such terms. Jordan, a 20-year-old student visitor from Cirencester, told me he had come to Stonehenge specifically to play Pokémon Go. He saw no identifiable border between the real world of Stonehenge, and the digital world unlocked by his device, arguing that he was having a better visitor experience than those not playing.
This is entirely subjective of course, and it depends on the reasons people go to Stonehenge in the first place, but to him, visiting the site was merely selecting a new and dynamic game environment. In cynical terms, changing the wallpaper! Jordan’s attitude may have you fearing for the future of humanity or it may not, but in commercial terms, it is to this mindset that any agency in our sector, heritage or otherwise, may wish to shape their approach to doing business in order to stay in business.
Now over to two industry stalwarts to help me describe what a new experiential agency should look like if it set up in business right now.

Hugh Robertson, founder of RPM


The RPM of 1993 would have largely been judged against our competency to deliver an immersive event-based experience for a finite audience.
Today we are involved much earlier, at the strategic level as the ‘live’ element of the campaign may represent a significantly smaller part of the budget or sometimes not at all.  The advancement of technology and the proliferation of social media channels, enable our campaigns to be even more targeted and shared and enjoyed by a far greater audience in an even more compelling and relevant way. The world has actually moved in our favour and ‘experience’ is more important than ever.
However how and where people are having these experiences has changed, as has the context. I would advise any agency to continually look at what services you need to build to meet these emerging needs e.g. Retail, UX, Live, and just as importantly, what services you shouldn’t build, and instead work in a collaborative way with specialists such as tech companies.

Chris Dawson, founder of The Field and TED staffing


If I were to start up an agency today I would root it in the very same human to human paradigm that has always been the mainstay of the experiential sector.
We are a touchy feely empathetic bunch us humans! As such we need technology that enhances and deepens our humanity. I don’t think Pokémon Go is that at all and it remains to be seen what will become of that particular phenomenon, but one thing is for sure, the major tech successes of recent decades have been successful because they enable us to connect as humans – to share our human experience together, as opposed to something that is isolating. I
would always recommend that technology is used to help grease the wheels of experiences, but continue to plan your campaigns with the important caveat that if tech is used for its own sake, at the cost of genuine human benefit and experience, it becomes awkward and sub optimal.
We humans ultimately make our own minds up through a process of peer recommendation, which is now almost exclusively digital, leading to trial through experience of the product or service – the touchy feely bit. An agency that can plan and execute seamlessly through this process would be very unique in the market. It’s like everything in life, its ‘why’ and ‘how’ things are used that shape their benefit and ultimate success.
Michael Brown is managing director at MKTG.
Via: Event Magazine 

Augmented Reality Extending the Potential of Out-of-Home

In anticipation of the August 19 release of Nine Lives in cinemas and encourage consumer engagement, Posterscope, Exterion Media and MKTG executed a consumer experience that included a competition to win Nine Lives soft-toys, further promoting the film release.
The activation took place in a Pokémon Go hot-spot and Pokémon hunters arrived in multitudes, looking for their latest catch.
Once arriving at the activation site, with Nine Lives branded Mr. Fuzzypants soft toys, movie popcorn and eye-catching OOH creative, participants were welcomed by brand ambassadors.
When they caught their Pokémon, consumers could enter the competition by capturing a photo of their Pokémon with the OOH creative in the background and uploading their photo to Twitter with the hashtag #GOTTACATCHTHECAT
Over 3,000 consumers took part in the activity, with 100 people entering the competition, in an experience that was a fun day out for the whole family.
The determination to catch Pokémon was high, with some participants spending up to half an hour battling Pokémon in the square to win the prize!
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Michael Scammell, Deputy Head of Marketing, Lionsgate UK “The Pokémon Go craze has continued to grow and grow, so with this partnership we wanted to stretch the boundaries to explore what this could mean for our OOH and tactical experiential activity promoting our upcoming release of Nine Lives.
“Combining the popular Pokémon game and the charming “Mr Fuzzypants” from Nine Lives provided a stand-out interactive experience for our consumers that allowed us to engage with them on a different level.”
Jason Cotterrell, Managing Director of Exterion Media UK “It’s fantastic to see Lionsgate linking our premium large-format screen at Westfield Stratford to the experiential space underneath – shoppers in an active mind-set weren’t able to miss this brilliant campaign, and they also had the opportunity to catch a Pokémon too!”
Glen Wilson, Managing Director, Posterscope UK “This campaign takes location based marketing to a new level, leveraging the power of location and consumer trends, we have combined DOOH, experiential and the latest consumer mobile behaviour to make for a reactive element to this cinema release campaign.
“We don’t know how long Pokémon Go will remain a popular hit but we knew this weekend was the one to leverage its novelty in the UK. Combining the popularity of this new location-based craze with the reactive capabilities of DOOH, we customised our OOH space – branding the experiential space and adapting the screen copy to incorporate Pokémon-esque language.”

Ocean Invites Manchester to Follow #thehumansensor

Ocean will curate user generated content created during the Human Sensor live performances.

Live content featuring artist Kasia Molga’s highly anticipated choreographed performance, Human Sensor, in which performers are dressed in wearable technology to detect air pollution levels, will be broadcast across Ocean screens in Manchester city centre this weekend.
In a partnership with Manchester, European City of Science and Invisible Dust, producers of Human Sensor, Ocean will curate user generated content created during a series of live performances in the City which will reflect how the population is affected by air quality.
During the shows, performers will model hi-tech clothing which is designed to reveal the presence of invisible pollutants to audiences during walks around various Manchester locations. Each walk culminates in a choreographed performance in Sadler’s Yard, NOMA.
The performances mark the culmination of several months of research by the artist, scientist Professor Frank Kelly and partners, and could lead the way in clothing design amongst urban populations around the world.
Ocean features #thehumansensor across The Loop city centre network of wifi enabled screens from July 18th, curating social media walls ahead of the performances on The Printworks and The Screen @Arndale screens from July 23 to July 29.
Social media content will be managed by Ocean’s mobile partner, Wayin.com, who will moderate online conversations via Twitter and videos and images uploaded to Pinterest, Instagram and other channels as they appear across out of home screens.
Ocean head of screen investment Kevin Henry said: “Through its eye-catching visual performance, The Human Sensor lends itself to curated user generated content from the audience. This will be harnessed by our wifi enabled screens to create a collage of photographs and video which reflect the power of the project both within Manchester and to a wider audience outside of the city.
‘Human Sensor’ is commissioned and produced by Invisible Dust in partnership with Manchester, European City of Science. It is supported by The Wellcome Trust’s Sustaining Excellence Award and Arts Council England.
 
Alice Sharp, director and curator said:  “Invisible Dust are delighted to work with Ocean and Wayin on this exciting opportunity that will drastically increase the reach, engagement and impact of Human Sensor.  When I founded the organisation I named it ‘Invisible Dust’ and our mission is to make the invisible visible.  We have been raising awareness about dangerously high levels of air pollution for nearly 10 years. I’m very happy the message is finally hitting home and that the world is beginning to wake up to this environmental challenge.”
Via: Outsmart

Exterion Media Launches iBeacons on London Buses

Exterion Media, Proxama and Mapway launch UK’s largest iBeacon consumer transport experience on London buses.

Exterion Media, Europe’s largest privately owned Out of Home advertising business, has launched the UK’s largest iBeacon experience across 500 Transport for London (TfL) buses throughout London in partnership with Proxama PLC, the leading mobile proximity marketing expert and Mapway, the world’s leading publisher of transport apps for mobile devices.
Mapway has integrated Proxama’s beacon Mobile SDK into its Bus Times London app and is currently deploying a utility-led consumer engagement experience to bus passengers in London. The experience is delivered using Exterion Media’s bus beacon network, which is underpinned by Proxama’s TapPoint® beacon platform.
With bus travel in London accounting for more than half of all bus journeys in the UK, at an average journey time of 17 minutes, brands will be able to use the opportunity presented by this ‘dwell time’ to engage with passengers. The service launched for Android users of Bus Times London on 17 March and delivers:

  • Real-time travel updates – in-app notifications are delivered to users when they board a beacon-enabled bus, advising them of real-time travel updates for the route they are traveling on
  • Contextual in-app ads – relevant and timely advertising served based on the consumer being on board a bus at time of viewing. Brands can capitalise on the consumer’s exact physical context and dwell time to deliver ads at the right time and increase click through rates

Brands using beacon-triggered enhanced advertising have seen that delivering contextually-relevant experiences drives higher consumer engagement levels. Sticky9 (part of the PhotoBox group) is seeing an average click-through rate of 14.5 per cent, much higher than the typical one to two per cent of non-beacon-triggered advertising. Beacon-triggered real-time travel update notifications are receiving a click-through rate of 44 per cent.
Following the success seen to date on its Android app, Mapway is integrating Proxama’s proximity Mobile SDK into the iOS version of the Bus Times London app, with the update scheduled for release to the App Store in May. Both apps combined will deliver a reachable consumer audience of half a million.
“This collaboration is a huge milestone for the proximity marketing industry. App owners are looking for ways to increase active user numbers and establish new sources of revenue, and beacons can deliver on both objectives. Brands are also looking for ways to better understand and more accurately engage with their target audiences, so campaigns like this deliver a win-win – with the results speaking for themselves,” said Jon Worley, CEO of Proxama’s Marketing Division. “This partnership is yet another indication that 2016 is the year that beacon technology for marketing gains significant traction.”
David James, CEO of Mapway, said: “We chose to work with Proxama and Exterion Media because, using beacons, we can ensure opted-in users only receive relevant and timely notifications and that content is both powerful and contextual. This platform has enormous potential for brands, and we look forward to helping them better engage with consumers. Similarly, we hope adverts will become of more interest to users of our apps, replacing volume with quality and relevance”
“With 2.3 billion passenger journeys made on London buses a year, the partnership creates an innovative platform for brands that want access to this hard-to-reach audience exclusively. The partnership also provides consumers with relevant, timely, and engaging content in an unobtrusive way. Not only can brands better target consumers, but the information collected will provide unique insights that will ensure future efforts are even more successful – allowing us to continue to make the everyday inspirational,” said Jason Cotterrell, Managing Director  at Exterion Media UK.
via: Outsmart 

TAG Heuer Sets New Benchmark for DOOH-Communication in Germany

Tag Heuer made headlines in the tech world last year when it partnered with Google and Intel to unveil the Tag Heuer Connected, the first product to enter the field of luxury smartwatches. To promote the new watch and present TAG Heuers engagement with german football culture, we used the Media Facade in Hamburg. Introduced and sponsored by the TAG Heuer Connected watch, live scores and tables on match days of the german Bundesliga are broadcast in real time. The TAG Heuer Bundesliga Content Sponsoring on Germanys 700sqm digital landmark sets new benchmarks in out-of-home communications and reaches the hearts of the fans.​
 

Dentsu Plans Roadside Ads that Change According to Driver’s Vehicle

In an experiment, advertising giant Dentsu Inc. plans to bring so-called targeted advertising, an increasingly popular sales method in cyberspace, into the physical world.
Dentsu’s team, with support from chipmaker Intel Corp. and three other information technology companies, will start running outdoor digital ads as early as June that collect and analyze people’s interests and instantaneously promote products to them based on their data.
Targeted advertising is already in wide use on the Internet. Based on such data as web browsing history and purchase history, advertisers are looking to judge consumers by demographics or personal traits so they can hawk the items or services most likely to attract them.
The first step will be to set up a digital sign board specifically tailored for drivers near a major highway in Tokyo.
By using video feeds from street cameras, computers will automatically analyze passing automobiles to gather clues on brand and type so the company can display pre-programmed ads to the drivers, said Dentsu’s Ichiro Jinnai, who is leading the project.
“For example, let’s say Lexus was the sponsor of the advertisement. When cars of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are approaching, the digital signage displays ads telling how Lexus cars are superior to these competitors,” Jinnai said Thursday.
Although it will only display car ads to begin with, the technology will be used to promote other products in the future by using big data to analyze what drivers want, based on the types and brands of cars they are driving — like promoting coffee to long-distance truck drivers to urge them to take a break — he said.
After this experiment, Dentsu plans to run the targeted ads at places such as shopping malls and tourist spots, as well as to use the technology on people rather than machines.
Asked about privacy concerns, Jinnai said there are “no privacy issues” because images from the cameras will not be stored, meaning any information that can be used to identify individuals will not be available for the ad agency to use.
“We do not intend to identify each individual nor to obtain any personal information. We will only judge people’s gender and age from their facial characteristics,” he said.
Via: The Japan Times 

Talk to a Fire Hydrant in Singapore at the Festival of Tech

SINGAPORE — “Hello lamp post!”
Starting this weekend on Oct. 10, you’ll be able to text a lamp post and receive (kind of) smart replies from the street object.
The project comes from London-based Pan Studio, which was invited to come and inject some personality into our street objects for a week.
We spoke to its founder Ben Barker onsite, who said the objects’ personalities are powered by a database that will learn from other users how to text intelligently. As people send messages to individual objects — from bus stops to the iconic Merlion statue — the engine will prompt the user with questions that will give it information about its surroundings.
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These could be questions from a fire hydrant like, “What’s behind me?” After learning, it could be able to make smarter comments to the next person, said Barker.
His team built the database, and roped in a bunch of data scientists at the National University of Singapore to craft more local questions in the local vernacular. “It shouldn’t sound like a British person asking these questions,” he said.
When we tried it on an unsuspecting hydrant, we got a bunch of canned questions and not a whole lot of intelligent interaction. But give it time — we tried it at a media preview and the hydrant hadn’t had much of a chance to talk to people yet. In a week, the hydrant could be a lot smarter after some conversation, said Barker.
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The Merlion, on the other hand, looks like it’s gotten a little smarter than the hydrant. This was a chat it had with one of the sponsors, where it managed to return a response based on a previous conversation it had:
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The team will keep its eyes on the texts flowing into the database for the week long duration of the installation, so as to be able to flag offensive messages that fly past the swear word detector.
And while the team has put up signs on iconic landmarks in the city, texting won’t just be restricted to these. Nearly everything — from manhole covers to letterboxes — can be textable if they carry an identifying number.
If you text a new lamp post, for instance, it adds a new object into the database that can start collecting information, he said.

manhole
You’ll be able to text this manhole cover, too.

Pan Studio first ran the installation in July 2013 in Bristol over a period of eight weeks. “We were worried about rude people, but the responses honestly made us feel so warm.
“Maybe because they’re asked by a hydrant, and in such a personal and innocent way,” said Barker.
The Hello Lamp Post installation is part of the Singapore government’s Festival of Tech that it’s funding through its tech agency, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).
The festival is meant to celebrate art and technology, so it roped in Manchester, England-based Future Everything to orchestrate the showcase. The organisation has been a longtime player in the digital art scene, and is behind the annual art, music and digital festival formerly known as Futuresonic in England.
Drew Hemment, FutureEverything’s founder and CEO told Mashable that the festival here is the organisation’s first major one in Asia, and that it took six months of development, two years after the IDA first approached his organization with the idea.
“The whole point behind talking to the lamp posts is really the idea of a smart nation, and how we might bring design to make a city more liveable,” he said.
 
The festival runs between Oct. 10 and Oct. 18.
Via: Mashable UK

CES – It's No Longer Purely About The Technology

The annual supershow that is CES 2015 finished on Friday (9th January). True to form, a tidal wave of technology was unveiled across the spectrum, including the mandatory oddities like the Selfie Brush and the Sexfit.
Of the range of tech innovations showcased, that will have a much wider influence on our interaction with advertisers and brands, a few were worthy of particular attention from an Out Of Home (OOH) communications perspective:
The Tech
Wearables and watches              
With the exception of Sony’s SmartWatch 3 Steel Edition and the very affordable Alcatel OneTouch watch there was an obvious lack of smartwatches at CES this year, whilst everyone waits for Apple to do the hard-sell first.  There was no shortage of other wearable techs on display however. These were mainly focused on fitness tracking, ranging from the traditional looking Withings Active to updates on existing exercise bands and even a Swarovski crystal studded bracelet.
As these devices mature it is interesting to look at what functions are surfacing as being important to consumers and how advertisers may leverage this.  If counting steps on a daily basis through a fitness tracker becomes commonplace, there’s the potential for an obvious new metric for measurement. Starting your car from your watch could save valuable seconds, and perhaps pressing the button to park your car could also order and purchase your favourite coffee so you can simply collect it, without having to queue. There really is no better time to get your mobile app beacon enabled, ready to be triggered through OOH.
The Internet of Things
One of the big themes at this year’s CES was the kit that takes information about the world around you and your actions in it, and turns it into data. Increasing numbers of consumers’ smart devices will become connected, extending into gadgets such as doors that lock themselves, thermostats that program themselves, cameras that monitor your home for intruders and even coffee machines that allow you to make a freshly ground mug without having to leave your bed.
Broadly known as The Internet of Things (IoT), this presents a huge opportunity for global brands, with the likes of Samsung and Sony outlining plans to dominate the ever increasing ecosystem of ‘things’ in 2015 and beyond. The opportunity for the Out of Home industry is colossal. We’ll soon be surrounded by more data opportunities from an increasingly connected consumer, alongside data from connected homes and the infrastructure which exists out of home. This will create numerous location specific data trails which have the potential to enhance the planning of OOH media and effective creative treatment.
We believe live data sources will continue to be integrated into DOOH content to make it more contextually relevant, and platforms such as Liveposter will make it easier than ever to aggregate real world data from the IoT into DOOH advertising.
Driverless cars are here
2015 was the year that Marty McFly travelled to in the film ‘Back to the Future’. Whilst we can’t yet buy food hydrators, hoverboards or flying cars, car technology was one of the big talking points at CES 2015. BMW, Mercedes and Audi all unveiled visions of their automated cars at the show this year. But automated driving technology embraces more than just a futuristic vision of people sitting in the back seat of a car being driven around – although a driverless Audi did make a spectacular 550 mile drive from San Fransisco to the CES venue in Las Vegas.
Automated driving is likely to have a big impact on OOH. A recent study from Posterscope introduces the new smart car ecosystem and considers how smart cars will collect and generate data that can be used for greater OOH targeting. If automated driving ultimately makes roads safer, we may also see current restrictions loosen around the use of animation on digital roadside screens, allowing for more creative opportunities across one of the largest DOOH environments.
Implications of the latest technologies
Technologies like these hold huge promise for consumers and advertisers alike, but beyond the technologies themselves, there are important and far reaching indications for both. CES is no longer just a place to launch technologies, it has become increasingly about consumers themselves.
The event has outgrown the historic definition of ‘just’ an electronics show; it’s now so much more. Whilst its raison d’être remains to showcase consumer technology, perhaps more crucially CES delivers an annual benchmark of how consumers adopt new behaviours enabled by these technologies.
In the not-too-distant past prodding and swiping a screen was something that earned you strange looks, likewise for talking to a TV or device. Neither seems out of the ordinary today of course, but these new behaviours were first showcased to attendees at CES shows decades ago.
It is the evolution of behaviours towards mainstream adoption, as observed through the dipstick of past CES shows, which should be of most interest to advertisers, not the technologies alone. So with this in mind, and looking beyond the technologies on display to the implications for brands and advertisers, we believe a few key mainstream behaviours will emerge in 2015 for brand consideration:
Actively quantifying our lives
Generating, analysing and understanding personal data such as the number of steps taken or calories consumed, for example, will become accepted and commonplace.
Do think about how data could influence OOH campaign planning, creative content and location selection. Your audience is comfortable using data, so you should be too.  Be careful not to over personalise and fall off the creepy cliff however.
Controlling the real world with our mobile devices
Speakers, heating systems and light bulbs are just a few of the connected devices already present in homes across the country. As more everyday appliances get connected this form of control will move from desirable to expected in the lives of consumers.
Whilst it’s important to understand the role OOH media can play in influencing these new on the go behaviours and mobile interactions with your OOH advertising, IoT is already up and running;  So it’s important to be aware that the internet of things is now about more than your toaster talking to your watch.
 Emerging acceptance of automation
Consumer opinion and attitude has changed drastically in the last year. Driverless cars have moved from a futuristic outlier at CES 2014 to a mainstream component of the show within just one year, highlighting a general acceptance of the automation of simple (and not so simple) tasks by machines.
Whilst industry accepted the value of automation decades ago it has taken much longer for the benefits to be transferred to our everyday lives – and whilst it’s important to consider how consumers will spend their time as a result of automation, experts at CES say ‘don’t worry,’ we are ‘decades if not centuries’ away from robots taking over the world!

New York Subway Riders Shop on Amazon whilst on the Underground

Amazon has become the first advertiser to use the large digital kiosks on the New York subway that originally displayed maps of the city’s transit system as digital pop-up stores to drive sales of holiday gifts.

Amazon’s activity is running on 100 digital 47-inch screens in 12 major hubs in New York, including Grand Central Station, Union Square and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Collectively, the kiosks target 1.2 million riders per day.

Half of the screens are placed on subway platforms and the other half are near entrances and high-volume areas. Creative content on Amazon’s ads differs between the two areas: Ads in the mezzanine area focus on branding while promos near trains drive sales.

The digital screens are swipe-able and let consumers browse through a curated list of electronic holiday gifts from brands like Samsung, Sony and Belkin. Each item can be tapped on for more information, which also pulls in real-time pricing.

After finding a product they want, riders can scan a QR code or send a text message or email and receive an Amazon.com link, where they can buy the gift from a smartphone once they’re above ground.

Via: Ad Week