What Car Makers Can Teach Us About the “New” OOH

I didn’t have a chance to go to CES this year, but did my best to monitor it from afar. One of the big headlines to me was the focus on the connectivity of cars. Cars and technology have always had a place at CES, but the advancements in technology along with the concept of mobility catapulted it to one of the headliners this year.

I was inspired by Audi’s CEO, Rupert Stadler’s, keynote that he gave last week. If you were there, or read the transcript, the theme was clearly connections, not the car. Specifically, he talked about technology that enables connections between the real and virtual worlds. “Ultimately, we see a world where the car is connected – to the world of the internet, to other cars, to the cloud, to traffic and weather data streams. It’s connected to technologies that increase safety and efficiency. All in all, the car of the future is part of the mobile world. In every sense of the word.”

As we’ve seen with consumer brands over the year, and now seeing with automobile makers, the concept that the places and things around us have the ability to be turned “on” and connected is more and more a reality, not just a fantasy. There are many technologies, from OnStar to MyTouch to Augmented Reality and Bluetooth and motion sensors, that are quickly becoming standard features with cars. They all enable different ways to make our experiences easier, safer, and more enjoyable. They ultimately make our lives better.

This is the same effect I see in this “new” OOH space. When the places and things around us can be turned into screens (via whatever technology is appropriate for the environment), and the people are a large part of the network, their lives can be made better – whether that be easier or safer or smarter or more efficient – because they’re connected. They’re connected to each other, to brands, to their past experiences, and in today’s mobile world, the connection is the thing. Not the place. Or the thing. Or even the technology.

Just as cars are adapting to this reality, will the digital signage and OOH space?

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