Using text-messaging to control screens

June 12, 2006 by Dave Haynes

I wrote recently about Boston-based Locamoda's cool application for turning a cellphone into a remote control for digital signage. That one uses an IVR system to get the job done.

A new kind of program, put together by Digital View for Canadian outdoor ad giant Pattison, uses the pure capabilities of SMS text messaging to make interactivity happen.

A little disclosure here first. While I take pains not to hump my firm's business, if it is truly interesting and worth passing on, I'll bend my rule. This is my client and project. What makes this worth writing about is how this adds a new dimension to signage, by actively engaging consumers.

Briefly, large LCD projection screens have been installed in several malls across the country by Pattison to help its client promote its products during the World Cup. Shoppers come across a large floor sticker and a video attract screen projected on a prominent wall encouraging people to view one of five available videos by testing a specific number and requesting a specific video. The text message routes through an SMS service and is received by a custom gadget that converts the request to a code, which is fed as a media file request to the media player.

My bias aside, it is very cool. The client gets a sense of what Nike spots that people want to see, and they also send out return SMS messages to all the participants encouraging them to visit a Nike Soccer website.

This program runs to the end of the Cup, but there's a lot of potential for this sort of thing to promote such things as new films, music videos and TV programs.The notion of activelt engaging people with signage is awfully attractive.

  1. Michael says:

    Very interesting read, thanks

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