Boffins at Fujitsu Laboratories have come up with a way of embedding digital coupons and URLs in video transmissions, in what could be a brand new way for firms to flog their products and services and engage more closely with their smartphone-toting customers.
The patent-pending technology allows for the transmission of information through video data from a TV or digital sign to a smartphone two to three metres away, apparently without reducing the image quality or requiring any additional equipment.
Fujitsu Labs explained how it managed this in a brief overview:
Our technology adds many tiny points of light into a video. By increasing or decreasing the number of lights, the brightness of the video is changed gradually. Our technology controls the number of lights and cause two types of brightness changes in it. One of the changes represents embedding ‘0’ and the other is embedding ‘1’. Thus, we are embedding some digital information into the video. Furthermore the brightness changes slowly and smoothly, so the changes are invisible to the human eye.
Although the system was apparently originally designed as a security measure for content protection, Fujitsu reckons it’ll be a sure fire hit with advertisers keen to send out coupons or allow customers to purchase or reserve goods and services they see on TV ads. Given that marketers can't stop talking about 'the second screen' Fujitsu might be on to something.
Broadcasters could also make available more info on their programmes, including relevant links to associated campaigns or social media pages.
Fujitsu demoed the new tech at the recent CEATC show in Japan, which you can see here.
Despite the hi-tech whizz-bangery of Fujitsu’s latest innovation, it can’t help but remind The Reg of a popular promotion for Australian beer Victoria Bitter almost six years ago featuring talking figurines of ex-beer monster and sometime Aussie cricket player David Boon.
Said figurines, powered by technology from Veil Interactive Technologies, would comment from a list of pre-recorded phrases such as "Looked out from here, ump!" or "Show us a replay of that!” when prompted by audio from Channel Nine TV commentary.