Touch me and tell me how you’d vote

September 9, 2011 by Dave Haynes

The use of anonymous video analytics for Digital OOH home audience measurement and dynamic ad serving has been touted for a while now, but now a Dallas-Forth Worth company is promoting a new spin on that by suggesting the same technology be used for political polling and candidate marketing.

Access1 Media has launched what it calls The Audience Measurement Platform (or AMP1), a touch screen kiosk designed to park in high traffic places like malls.

Reads the press release:

The new platform differentiates itself from traditional polling methods through an interactive touch screen and onboard camera which run proprietary/patent pending audience recognition software. This software determines a poll participant’s age, gender and dwell time while they’re answering polling questions on the touch screen. Poll results and viewer demographics are then delivered in real time to a secure client login area on the Access1 website.

Access1 enables each candidate to use video, audio, graphical and written messages to communicate with their audience and capture their response with data collection and polling results. When deployed in high traffic areas such as malls, sports venues or public events, political candidates have the opportunity to deliver their message through a unique and interactive medium thereby reaching voters outside the traditional campaign methods. Digital content can also be updated remotely.

“Not only can Access1 Media’s powerful platform provide next generation campaign messaging displays in high traffic venues for a diverse range of markets, but data can be recorded and made instantly available in a secure client login area,” said Cameron Fowler, Access1 Media’s CEO.

AMP1 runs on a wireless network that uploads touch screen metrics, viewer information, and polling results to Access 1 Media’s secure server on a minute by minute basis. Campaign managers can log into this server at anytime throughout their polling campaign and view the captured data. The live data can also be easily accessed using an iPhone, iPad or smartphone.

Other features of the AMP1 include SMS, MMS, and email capabilities along with an onboard keyboard which allows the public to enter contact information so they can receive additional campaign material. These features, along with the use of on-screen Facebook and Twitter feeds, provide the candidate with the ability to maintain contact with their target demographic. Donations to a political campaign can also be made via an onboard credit card processer.

My gut tells me that last little bit would catch the eye of campaign managers.

It’s interesting. Chances are that people in the polling business would snicker at the quality and value of whatever findings this interactive poll machine would deliver, but I doubt the crowd that would be attracted by this see envision it as a serious tool to tap public moods and voting intentions.

The ability, though, to get a candidate’s profile, ideas and image in front of people more efficiently than door-knocking and kitchen meetings is likely attractive, as are the interactive text and email push pieces built into the platform.

The image with the release looks like a composite and there is no mention of anyone actually using AMP1 so far. Former EBay chief spent $177 million last year not winning the California governor’s office. She could have had a bunch of these for the cost of a TV spot or two.

The 2012 election is still a long way out. I’ll be intrigued as to whether this technology gets picked up and used, and how.

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