Is 'Minority Report' 5-10 Years Away?

Published on: 2015-02-05

The Digital Outsider portion of MediaPost had this to say about upcoming retail experiences:
The interactive element is already there, and because it is a public medium, it promises to engage large numbers of people at once. According to Dale Herigstad, who developed the design concept for Minority Report (and who said earlier this year the futuristic interface "doesn't seem that far away now"), interaction serves to "activate" place-based digital media, with a few early adopters drawing an audience into active participation. That's the principle behind the interactive touch-screens Herigstad helped design to promote Accenture in Chicago's O'Hare airport, which allow travelers to browse and arrange text and video content on highly visible digital displays. In this scenario, the individual's browsing becomes a public event that can engage other passers-by.

If consumers gave their consent, cell phone IDs, RFID chips, or facial recognition technology could identify them wherever they go, allowing advertisers to deliver targeted advertising that "follows" them from one place to another. At this stage, digital out-of-home advertising begins to merge with behavioral targeting of the sort already in use on the Internet, according to Dave Martin, director of interactive media for Ignited. Agreeing with Herigstad that "'Minority Report' isn't so far away," Martin predicted that "digital, addressable media will go from just your PC to your living room, your kids at school, in your car, at work."

Ultimately, advertisers should be able to combine demographic data, Internet usage, physical location, and purchases with credit cards and cash (including plane tickets, car rentals and hotel reservations) to invent the next generation of roaming, behavioral, out-of-home targeting (ROBOT?). For example, as you walk down the street, you might see a series of video ads telling a multi-part story, delivered by screens in different venues. To do this, advertisers would simply have to aggregate different place-based networks, a service already provided by companies like SeeSaw and AdCentricity. This is already possible online; if consumers opt in, it would simply enable the "real world" version.

Our take:

Bill Gerba's opinions on using Minority Report as the point of comparison aside (he reiterates his point at Digital Signage News), WireSpring is already being asked to work on a number of the enabling technologies for this type of scenario, as surely are many of our partners and competitors. While each component is innocent enough in its own right, two additional circumstances are arising to make this a "perfect storm" of data security and privacy problems.  First, the combination of the technologies -- RFID for identification, kiosks for interaction, digital signs for display, massive databases, loyalty programs, and so on) is allowing for "deep tracking" of individuals across venues, inside the home and out, and online and off.  Second, the accumulation of deep tracking data for a very large number of people is giving companies extremely large and complete data bases upon which to make their marketing strategies.  Essentially, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts because of the combined breadth and depth of the collected data.

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