Clear Channel Lay Claim To Technology Greatness

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Clear Channel’s Create + Collaboration team in the UK has launched a new interactive screen network in what they say “harnesses the latest advances in digital technology”.

Clear Channel Harnesses Digital

Unveiled at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this week, the screens are multi-touch sensitive and capable of motion sensing, gesture perception, face detection, colour recognition and augmented reality.

Clear Channel’s research and development team has been busy working with its technology partners; Tangibal, C-Instore and i-FX Media on what sounds and looks like a digital poster on steroids.

The press release from Clear Channel was quick to say that “These can be installed across Clear Channel’s market-leading network of 6-sheets in towns and cities across the UK” blah blah blah but did not say if, when or how many would be installed (probable answer ‘zero’) yet the whole press release referred to a ‘a new interactive screen network’ early on.

Unfortunately so many of these press releases talking up the ‘latest advances in digital technology‘ are merely showcasing a single technology demonstration (in this case one at the Cannes event) aimed at exciting advertisers for a short while and aimed squarely as a defensive measure at those in the industry who are really innovating with digital (and deploying).

The screens we are told, incorporate 12 point multi-touch, HD cameras, movement sensors, infrared technology, 3G comms and eye-tracking software to enable advertisers to book campaigns that allow people to not only view live content but control the content and star in the ads.

According to Derek Manns, Head of Create + Collaboration at Clear Channel UK “What we have created is the most advanced interactive 6-sheet which uses technology to deliver memorable experiences for consumers while they are out and about”

He added “Out-of-home provides advertisers with a vital link between the on and offline worlds and we are dedicated to delivering innovative products that push the boundaries of our medium.”.

However, what the two showcase screens at Cannes actually delivered was hardly ground breaking…

  1. A simple game using the face detection functionality to enable the player to control the game by moving from side to side (note: Quividi were showing this sort of solution to investors in Paris five years ago when they were fund raising and it’s common enough today)
  2. An augmented reality experience in which attendees can become part of the advertising (again relatively common)
  3. A customised car based on the colour of the clothes people are wearing (seriously how useful is that?

No doubt we are missing something but if that is all that one of the big five OOH folks can come up with we are seriously underwhelmed.

In one part of the press release they refer to face tracking software and here they refer to ‘eye-tracking’. We doubt they actually have any ‘eye-tracking’ software in this solution.

Leave a Reply