Billboards to make advertising more personally touching

I imagine most of you have heard of Body Area Networks by now – the theoretical layer of communications protocols and devices that will surround your person as portable computing devices become more ubiquitous. And I imagine none of you will be surprised to hear that plenty of folk are working on ways to use BAN to advertise to you more effectively.

A South Korean research institution has come up with an idea that is meant to circumvent the perennial problem of the billboard – namely, that a goodly percentage of the people viewing it will have no interest in the product currently being advertised. The solution?

The Korean patent gets around this problem by suggesting that people using a body area network could touch an electronic poster to tune it to their interests. The display would download details about that person’s interests and recent activities, and display a relevant advert. Downloads like detailed product brochures could also be offered.

If you’ve spotted the obvious flaw there, don’t worry, so has New Scientist – and the researchers have, too:

Whether people would want to interact with ads in this way is another matter. To address this, the patent suggests goodies could be offered too – for example special-offer coupons, or even music and films. Billboards in places where people wait for buses or trains would be ideal spots to get people interacting, suggest the team.

Hmm. I might tentatively predict a new sport among the young and anarchic that involves developing a false personal profile that triggers, ah, rather specialist products and services from such devices… [image by numberstumper]