Future Media moves towards interactivity with GestureTek

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | July 04, 2008
Interactivity gets a boost with GestureTek, the new technology from Future Media, which has been launched across malls

Future & #BANNER1 & # Media, the Future Group's media venture, which aims to provide media solutions in the ambience of consumption, has launched an interactive display called GestureTek. This has been placed at show windows in key malls across the country. The interactive display, based on gesture recognition technology, with a camera capturing movement and displaying it on the format, provides advertisers a new creative media solution to enhance interactivity with consumers.

The interactive display, popularly known as GestureTek, has been named after its US based creator company, which is a world leader in gesture recognition technologies. Future Media has purchased GestureTek from its Indian distributors.

This is how it works: The display is set with sophisticated cameras, infrared emitters and body tracking software. The system responds intelligently to the subtlest of body movements to project different images. The message can be changed multiple times, or as often as the advertiser requires. The display size is large enough to react to several people coming within the range of the camera lens. The display becomes static for two seconds after each cycle to create the right impact in a crowded place.

VG Jaishankar
VG Jaishankar, business director, visual media, Future Media, says, "Introducing new eye catching technology is becoming increasingly important if one is to grab and engage the consumer's roving eye. Innovative displays like GestureTek not only help grab consumer eyeballs, but also engage the consumer in a more creative way than normal static media. Introducing innovative technologies like this is high on our agenda and we look forward to many more such introductions."

This is the first time in India that this technology has been deployed simultaneously at 10 locations in eight cities, including malls in Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai, all of which are controlled centrally from a network in Mumbai. Until now, this technology had been restricted to use in only one location at a time because it needed to be programmed manually at the location. For now, the display has been introduced at the show windows of Pantaloon and Central in the various cities. Each location has one show window that has been dedicated to this display. The number of displays and locations will be increased in time.

GestureTek is only being used in window displays so as to catch maximum eyeballs within and outside stores. The size can vary between a minimum of 100 inches and a maximum of the full show window.

In phase two of the launch, GestureTek will project dynamic interactive multimedia content or interactive games onto surfaces.

One of the early adopters of this technology is Hindustan Unilever Ltd for its brand, Sunsilk. Sunsilk has put up seven-eight visuals, which change every time the camera tracks movement. Sunsilk is using this new age media as part of its ongoing marketing campaign, 'Life Can't Wait'.

"Sunsilk has taken up the media as an exclusive advertiser during its launch phase. However, there are multiple brands which are interested and which will come on board as we roll out further," says Jaishankar.

The Indian market is just beginning to see interactive outdoor technologies. How fast will this market grow? Jaishankar says, "Technology is going to be a key driver of consumer engagement, to deliver messages that are contextual and relevant in an interesting way. Brands can come alive and talk to consumers, thus creating an impression in their otherwise cluttered minds. Future Media is the only company to do this over 10 locations and has networked the same. So, we address the issue of reach too and a brand can plan a national campaign with us. This is the first step. The second would be the audience using it further to seek information and transact."

Future Media also offers engagement through its media properties like visual spaces and activation (creating media trends with innovative campaigns), print (My World, a monthly women's magazine available at Pantaloon, Central, Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar and on newsstands), radio, television (Future TV, the TV network that caters to various consumer segments, and Future Fuel, the TV network at BPCL petrol stations) and theatre (Future Media has acquired the on-screen media rights for all Inox properties).

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