Don't look now mcbear! (You've already read about this, no doubt.)
Wonder if this means nude women on roadside billboards?
By Alex Hutchinson
Published in the January 2008 issue.
10 Tech Concepts You Need to Know for 2008 - Popular Mechanics #6
Internet advertisers have pioneered the “pay-per-click” advertising model, but now a similar concept is ready to make the jump into the real world, with billboards that watch you watch them. In 2007, Canadian startup Xuuk introduced eye-tracking technology that uses infrared sensors to look for the red-eye phenomenon familiar from family snapshots. The device looks like a small webcam and can detect a passing glance from over 30 feet away. This year, the company will roll out its Eyeanalytics software, letting advertisers monitor how many people are looking at each of their ads, and for how long.
The implications for the ad world are clear: “You could sell ads by the eyeball,” says Xuuk’s CEO, Roel Vertegaal. That model has paid off for companies like Google in the online world—and they’re watching Xuuk closely. Vertegaal has already traveled to Mountain View, Calif., to present his technology at Google headquarters, though he’s tight-lipped about any future plans with the Internet search giant.
The immediate application, though, is to help advertisers target their ads more effectively. Currently, it’s only possible to judge the effectiveness of billboards through expensive focus groups and surveys. With a few well-placed eye-trackers, ad firms and their clients will be able to figure out which ads catch your eye—literally—and hold your attention. Firms such as Toronto-based Novramedia, which operates about 10,000 digital signs around the world, are already experimenting with the technology.
Here's another from the same article...
10 Tech Concepts You Need to Know for 2008 - Popular Mechanics #4
Your cellphone will not only give you up but now you'll have to wade through advertising before you can make a call?
The machines know where you are—and that may be a good thing. As more portable devices merge GPS information with network connectivity through cellular, Wi-Fi or ad hoc links, Internet use will change. Do a Yellow Pages search on “pizza” when you’re in a new town and your smartphone will tell you the closest spot to get a slice. New pop-up ads may not be far behind—imagine receiving an alert that a Starbucks is just a block away, along with an electronic coupon for a new coffee flavor.
Already, many GPS devices are integrating real-time contextual location information into guidance. Many of the latest systems incorporate real-time traffic and construction information over terrestrial or satellite radio frequencies.
But the biggest development of 2008 may be the advent of Android, a new open-source mobile operating system platform backed by Google and several major cellphone carriers through the Open Handset Alliance. The organization’s aim is to encourage the development of creative applications that will transform the mobile handset into more of a portable mini computer whose phone function is secondary. Google cites possible mash-ups like combining a mobile version of Google Maps with a service showing where your friends are, suggesting that the company’s mastery of contextual information could help kick-start a new, location-based information age.