There's been a lot of talk about advertising lately, what with augmented reality ads hitting the mainstream and Google paying AdBlock Plus to get its ads shown anyway, but this new story is definitely the weirdest. Imagine sitting on a bus, or a plane, and leaning your head on the window. You're tired. You've probably been rushing around all day, and you'd do anything for a quick nap. You've about reached dreamland, and then... you hear a commercial about Sky Deutschland's upcoming TV programming, probably including the latest Formula 1 race, which just happened in its native land.
The premise sounds ridiculous, and it's something I wouldn't have even thought was possible, but indeed, it appears to be. I mentioned Sky Deutschland above because it's going to be the first advertiser to give this technology a go, although it's unclear if it's been deployed anywhere at this point.
This technology has a couple of upsides, and of course, some downsides. What makes it neat is that you'll be the only person to hear that ad - no one around will be disturbed. Also neat is the fact that it works at all - it's not broadcasting into your ear, but into your head. Imagine being unaware of this technology and discovering it when you're trying to catch a couple of Zs. Better still, imagine someone exploited the system, and uttered devilish words at someone. They might not be able to sleep after that.
A major downside to this technology should be obvious: when people are leaning their heads against a window, it's probably because they want to fall asleep. In that instance, the last thing you're going to want is to hear an ad - that's a new level of intrusion, right there.
There's also the fact that as a general rule, leaning your head against anything in a public place is probably not the best idea. Sometimes, it can't be helped, but just imagine the number of people that have leaned their head against that window before you. I am not sure about you, but that thought irks me, and this form of advertising, in effect, encourages that behavior. I am sure window cleaners wouldn't be thrilled over the idea either.
That said, for what it's worth, this technology is pretty cool. I just hope that it never becomes popular.
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