It’s crazy to think that mobile will not have a profound impact on the digital signage industry and even more, the channel that is out-of-home (OOH). Mobile alters it to the point where those static displays – be them digital or print – instantly become interactive. Through SMS short codes or image/code recognition or GPS. Or a host of other enabling technologies. Every day, it seems like someone is coming up with another way to use mobile devices to power more meaningful, deeper experiences. For the purpose of connection. Or convenience. Or entertainment. Or as we’re seeing more and more with brands and marketers, to conduct business.
Yesterday, Pepsi announced an interesting test program using one of these new, enabling technologies – “audio fingerprinting,” which is basically audio recognition. It works through an app on a mobile device (phone or tablet) and when it’s “on” (listening to audio coming from another screen), it can recognize the programming and take action on it. Earlier in the year, Grey’s Anatomy used a similar technology that allowed people who were watching Grey’s Anatomy and using the Grey’s Anatomy app to have an interactive, customized experience on their mobile device. It recognized what episode you were watching and then served up engaging content – polls, quizzes, cast videos, etc… – relative to that particular episode. Just by “listening” to the program.
Well, here, Pepsi is doing the same thing. But instead of serving up additional content, they’re serving up a coupon (for a free Pepsi Max). When the mobile device hears this Pepsi commercial, it rewards you for watching it by giving you a coupon.
The implications of this sort of technology on a “static” (push-only) digital sign are huge. This now enables any of that boring, one-way content to a) become interactive and most importantly, b) not have to be altered. The mobile device actually takes care of everything.
Yes, this is another example of how mobile can dramatically change all those digital screens, but on a bigger scale, this is another example of how those places and things around us are being turned on and instantly connecting us with each other and the brands we love.