IBM is currently working on the development of technology that will result in billboards that talk to consumers as they walk past. As if this wasn't futuristic enough, the billboards will only communicate relevant adverts to that particular consumer walking past the billboard. This is thanks to the development of a chip which will be encoded with preferences and shopping habits of individuals.
Sound familiar? Have you seen the film 'Minority report'?
Good or Bad?
The emergence of this kind of technology will no doubt get marketers and businesses excited with the prospect of the ultimate in direct / personalised marketing platforms for the future. Some consumers however, may question this as an invasion of privacy. It's my opinion that if you knowingly give up your information for marketing use, then you have to expect some direct marketing thrown your way. The big plus for marketers and consumers is that these boards will only play adverts that are relevant to you as an individual rather than bombard you with products that don't interest you, that is as long as accurate information is collected for the chips.
One thing I do know is that this level of direct marketing will come with a hefty price tag and the likes of Coca Cola, Nike and Virgin will be lap it up. Personally, I think commuting and walking down your high street may become annoying in the future as the talking billboards constantly chatter to passers by. Maybe this will drive even more people to do all of their shopping online?