The future of media is ambient

Evolving technology has a profound effect on all of our lives. In the business of reaching people on the go, it can be no more true.

I love the word “ambient” as a way to describe where we are moving as an industry. Ambient means surrounding, subtle, non-intrusive, immersive and always on.

The kind of technologies that always have the biggest impact on our way of life are those that seem to instantly become apart of us, as if they were always there.

These emerging technologies have opened up a whole new universe of opportunity for advertisers, because it means we can augment the real world to not only excite people in new and interesting ways, but target them more closely, measure the impact our brand has on them and drive real actions and commerce.

It's not Minority Report. It's just showing people things that matter to them if they're going to look at the media anyway.

It’s not Minority Report. It’s just showing people things that matter to them if they’re going to look at the media anyway.

Contextual communications in a physical world

I love the idea of augmenting the real world to provide contextual relevance to people, in a way that they may not notice but that has an effect on them.

Again that word “Ambient” plays nicely, because there is a very big difference between blasting someone with a notification to sell them stuff, and politely placing something they are likely to want into their world.

Ambient sensors that are linked to our mobile activity can connect with digital surfaces in the real world and show messages that are relevant and contextual.

This means that I could see the line of Skechers shoes I buy every 3 months, travel deals to locations I fly to regularly or even homes for sale up in Westchester where I was recently property hunting.

The power to me is in the subtlety. It affects our lives just enough so as to be tolerable and easily adopted.

So I guess the point I am making is that true innovation, and the way for us to win in Ambient Media over the next 2, 4, 8, 10 years, is unlikely to be in some radical new sensing technology or radio-frequency gizmo, but in the smart convergence of existing technologies and our normal ways of life.

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