The world of Minority Report is one step closer to fruition as SoftKinetic announce that it’s working on an advertising solution featuring gesture input. With the help of Intel, it’s hoping to change the billboard as we know it by adopting a more interactive approach to capturing a consumer’s interest.
Using Intel’s AIM Suite to register the age and gender of a passer-by will be of great use to the advertiser. Eric Krzeslo, chief innovation officer at SoftKinetic, confirms this notion: ““By adding Intel AIM Suite, we are not only providing a more enjoyable experience, but also providing crucial data for the advertisers and the ability to track return on investment with greater accuracy.”
Privacy not a concern
One issue that may cause consumers concern is that of privacy. However, Virgile Delporte, VP of Marketing and Communications for SoftKinetic, allays those worries: “Intel's AIM suite merely records the gender, age group, and viewing details like distance from the screen and level of attentiveness. No images or personal information on the viewer are recorded, so the solution is completely anonymous.“
It might not be too long before this technology hits the mainstream, either. There are app-filled smart TVs on sale everywhere, and LG and Samsung were showcasing their support for motion input at CES last month. Could TV adverts that require gesture-based interaction be just around the corner?
Not everybody agrees. SoftKinetic’s Delporte feels that Samsung and LG’s offerings aren’t yet advanced enough for the mainstream because of the 2D camera their devices feature. He goes on to say that SoftKinetic is, “actively working with major television manufacturers about the next generation of TVs, which will include much more detailed and accurate tracking thanks to a 3D camera.” How far off are these developments, then? Delporte reveals very little, recommending patience, “It should hit the market slowly and surely, after a lot of user testing,” is all he will say.
A4u spoke to AdJug’s Chief Products Officer & Co-Founder, Satish Jayakumar, about the possibilities of smart TVs in the advertising space. He envisioned a future where, “an automotive manufacture would be able to load their latest car in a 3D ad format, where the user can use gestures to turn the car around to view it from all angles; or open the doors, which will then move to a 3D view inside the car.”
SoftKinetic in ecommerce
Jayakumar is excited by the prospect of the technology’s application in ecommerce sites like Net-a-Porter or Yoox, and believes new gesture input methods give advertisers the power to “move beyond the red button and mouse to reach and message potential customers.” However the AdJug man feels that these mechanisms are unlikely to change how targeting is carried out: “The use of behavioural targeting (without personally identifiable information) extending and getting better to extend to these devices, if anything,” he opines.
Televisions aren’t the only consumer devices set to feature gesture navigation: Microsoft has also just launched Kinect for Windows. Although it’s aimed at gamers to begin with, it’s still an encouraging development for advertisers and one that’s sure to speed up the acceptance of gesture recognition by the mainstream.