Several suburbs of Auckland, a major city in New Zealand, are now using interactive billboards powered by machine to machine technology provided by one of the world's largest telecommunications companies.
Vodafone (News - Alert) announced this week that it has begun powering LED-based billboards in the suburbs of Ponsonby, Eden Terrace, and Parnell. They have gone live after being extensively tested, the telecommunications company points out, to ensure that they will work within the M2M network that will handle transmission of data sent to the interactive advertisements.
Vodafone's Head of M2M, Tony Bacon, spoke about the changing nature of advertising technology and its integration with the public in which it intends to connect:
"Advertisers are starting to realize that the cost to print is unattractive when considering digital media," Bacon said. "Digital allows the vendor to renew their advertising message in real time to suit time of day, weather conditions, and other environmental variables."
The billboards are ultimately powered by a Vodafone router that, the company says, only takes a few minutes to install. Therefore, once the signs are in place, it only takes a matter of minutes to have them begin displaying information. This is obviously less time consuming than creating prints for traditional billboards, and in the long run it can prove less costly and less wasteful because it can service a number of advertisers without having to print and tear down paper ads time and time again.
Advertisements created in this way can also sync with public voices. They can engage consumers on Twitter and Facebook (News - Alert), for instance, who are interested in the products displayed in company advertisements. This also can allow companies to tailor their advertisements in real time to interact with the people who are viewing them.
Ngage director, Alan Nicholas, who is quoted in the Vodafone announcement, describes the changing technology as comparable to that of an orchestra:
"Right now, a person managing and scheduling a network is something of a musician. Soon, those people will be arranging and conducting orchestras, with many, varied instruments (those things) potentially adding to the sound," Nicholas said.
Revenue in the billboard and outdoor advertising industry is reportedly expected to grow at 3.1 percent year-over-year to $10.5 billion over the next five years. Over that time, people will begin to find more advertisements tailored directly to their personal experiences and integrating heavily with the mobile phones they carry with them from place to place.
Edited by Adam Brandt