New advertisements beamed into your bones through train window

Credit: BBDO
Credit: BBDO

Pop-up adverts online may be annoying, but the marketing world has new trick that will be even harder to escape.

German advertisers at BBDO have been testing a system that transmits a message from the windows of trains into your ear, playing as a voice in your head. Using ‘bone conducting’ technology, the advert is activated when a commuter’s head touches the glass and enters their inner ear, playing only for them.

“Passengers were pleasantly surprised,” a spokesperson told Metro, following trials on public transport in North Germany with an advert for Sky media. “It can also be used for entertainment, weather updates and so on.”

Similar technology is used in the forthcoming Google Glass device, and the model could become common if successful.

“It’s at the trial phase and the public reaction will decide if this takes off,” Ian Barber of the Advertising Association told Metro. He added that “public space is the innovative sector” and near-field technology, facial recognition and augmented reality are all developing fast in the industry.

But reaction to the innovation has been mixed, with technology author Cory Doctorow describing it as “nightmarish,” while comments below the video included promises to smash the glass.

BBDO claim the prototype has been successful but are waiting on customers before announcing a roll-out date.


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