Connected devices and M2M (machine-to-machine) technologies are upping the ante for companies trying to reach the public—whether it’s retailers, manufacturers, or advertisers. Because connected devices are becoming more and more a part of everyday life, companies are increasingly thinking of creative, tech-savvy ways to engage their customer base using M2M technology.
From integrating QR (quick-response) codes into everything from movie posters to business cards, to using AR (augmented reality) to engage a customer beyond the traditional level of interaction, there are plenty of innovative avenues currently being explored. Many of these technologies aim not only to be interesting, but to provide a more data-rich and convenient life for consumers.
For instance, last week in New York City, Glamour magazine launched a unique application using Snap-to-Buy technology from SpyderLynk, www.spyderlynk.com. The magazine’s so-called Apothecary Wall, which looks like a virtual store, features product icons that also function as 2D barcodes called “SnapTags.”
Customers download an app and scan the tags with their smartphones to get product information and/or to purchase the item straight from their mobile device. The “shop-able” wall features shampoos, conditioners, and other bath and beauty items that consumers can browse, scan, and buy. The result of the interaction is a real product delivered to consumers’ homes.
SnapTags can also be used in the pages of print magazines, allowing readers to scan a tag and buy the product right then and there. SpyderLynk’s technology is essentially creating a new point of purchase for consumers, which could become very valuable to advertisers.
Another company using M2M technology to reach consumers is Bulzi Media, www.bulzi.com. Bulzi delivers realtime, direct-measured metrics about audience for digital signage. The company aims to offer a “new ad network paradigm.”
Bulzi’s LOCALiz solution generates micro-audience profiles based on anonymous mobile-phone location records. Essentially, the solution helps deliver the right message to the right audience, which is a golden ticket for companies looking to reach consumers. For consumers themselves, this type of solution helps ensure they’re seeing the kind of relevant advertisements that appeal to them.
In the March/April issue of Connected World magazine, www.connectedworldmag.com, editors take a look at the creative ways companies are using AR technology to make consumers’ lives more fun and convenient. The ubiquity of smartphones has led to a number of AR apps that go beyond gaming to education and retail experiences. The technology is even being used in medicine to help doctors give patients the best care possible.
As consumers become more connected, the bar is raised for companies looking to snag their attention. Often, the innovative solutions being developed and implemented are positive on all fronts—connecting companies and consumers at the right time and place.