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The now, next, and wondrous future of OOH

By Vasant Jante - June 11, 2024

Innovation expert Dino Burbidge speaks the ever-evolving landscape of OOH advertising, powered by interactive technologies

Dino Burbidge, Innovation Consultant and CEO of Dinova

In a captivating session at the WOO Global Congress in Hong Kong, Dino Burbidge, Innovation Consultant and CEO of Dinova, took the centre-stage to share his insights on the ever-evolving landscape of OOH advertising. Known for his unique approach to blending technology, creativity, and business acumen, Dino presented an engaging overview of the current state, upcoming trends, and futuristic possibilities in the OOH industry.

Setting the Scene: The Hype Curve

Dino kicked off his talk by introducing the concept of the Gartner Hype Curve, a model that maps out the journey of emerging technologies. The curve starts with an "innovation trigger," ascends to the "peak of inflated expectations," plunges into the "trough of disillusionment," rises up the "slope of enlightenment," and finally reaches the "plateau of productivity." He noted that many current technologies, such as generative AI and post-quantum cryptography, are riding high on this curve, while others like NFTs and Blockchain have experienced varying degrees of hype and disillusionment.

The Now: Technologies at the Plateau of Productivity

Focusing on technologies that have already reached the plateau of productivity, Dino highlighted four key examples:

  1. Roblox: With 71 million daily users and six million active at any given moment, Roblox is a significant platform for brands targeting younger demographics. Dino emphasised its role as a quasi-metaverse where brands can create immersive experiences and even leverage programmatic video advertising through virtual billboards.
  2. Sense of Smell in Gaming: Introducing a unique sensory dimension, technologies like the "Scent for Games" box can emit specific smells based on in-game events, enhancing the immersive experience for players. This innovation could be extended to various environments, including shopping malls and advertising spaces.
  3. Runway ML's Motion Brush: This AI tool allows for subtle animation within static images, enabling advertisers to create dynamic yet refined visual campaigns. By highlighting and animating specific areas of an image, brands can add a layer of engagement to their otherwise static content.
  4. Location-Based Loyalty Programmes: Technologies like FOBI enable brands to integrate loyalty programmes into digital wallets, triggering rewards based on proximity to certain locations. This creates opportunities for personalized and location-specific marketing campaigns, driving customer engagement and data collection.

The Next: Emerging Technologies and Trends

Looking ahead, Dino identified several technologies poised to impact the OOH industry: 

  1. Gaussian Splatting: A breakthrough in 3D rendering, Gaussian Splatting involves creating scenes using "splats" in the air, which are computationally efficient and enable real-time rendering on low-power devices. This could revolutionise how 3D content is displayed in advertising.
  2. Apple Vision Pro: At $3,500, this augmented reality device demonstrates Apple's prowess in locking 3D scenes into real-world environments. Dino posed intriguing questions about the implications for advertising, where virtual billboards could compete with physical ones for viewer attention.
  3. OpenAI's Multi-Modal Models: As AI models evolve to handle text, video, code, and music, the potential for AI-generated content in advertising grows. Dino advised caution, recommending human oversight to ensure quality and relevance in AI-generated campaigns.
  4. Business Process Outsourcing via Video: Highlighting a novel approach, some companies are outsourcing customer service to remote operators via video calls. This could extend to personalised interactions in retail and advertising settings, offering 24/7 customer engagement.

The Wondrous Future: Pioneering Innovations

Concluding his session, Burbidge delved into futuristic concepts that could redefine OOH advertising:

  1. ChatDev: Utilising AI to autonomously develop software, this experiment demonstrates the potential for AI-driven project management and development. In the future, similar technologies could streamline the creation of advertising content and strategies.
  2. Wearable Screens: Inspired by the BMW car with colour-changing paint, personal screens integrated into clothing or accessories could display dynamic content based on the wearer's location and context, turning individuals into mobile advertising platforms.
  3. Adversarial Pixels: Addressing the ethical concerns of AI training, Dino discussed the idea of poisoning AI models with misleading data to protect proprietary content. This highlights the importance of safeguarding creative assets in an AI-dominated future.
  4. Robot Snails: A quirky yet practical innovation, these soft robotics can clean and maintain advertising displays, ensuring they remain pristine and engaging.

Dino's presentation at the WOO Global Congress was a thought-provoking journey through the current realities, emerging trends, and speculative future of OOH advertising. His insights underscored the dynamic nature of the industry and the endless possibilities that lie ahead. 

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