The first interactive LED billboards in New Zealand have gone live in Ponsonby, Eden Terrace and Parnell, bringing a piece of Times Square to Auckland. The content is delivered in real time by Vodafone using Machine to Machine (M2M) technology over the mobile network, negating the need for additional cabling and infrastructure.
Extensive testing over the last 12 months has ensured that the billboards – owned and operated by APN Outdoor and supported by Ngage Media – run seamlessly over the M2M mobile network.
The system uses Aerva technology, software that allows the audience to interact with the billboards via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, RSS feeds, pic-to-screen, or text-to-screen.
Vodafone’s M2M router can be installed and configured in minutes and offers global functionality, meaning it can be deployed anywhere in the world. The company has over a million M2M connections in New Zealand.
Vodafone’s Head of M2M, Tony Bacon says that digital signage is recognised as a growth sector worldwide. “Advertisers are starting to realise that the cost to print is unattractive when considering digital media. Digital allows the vendor to renew their advertising message in real time to suit time of day, weather conditions and other environmental variables.”
“We’re also seeing companies adopt digital media as a way to broadcast internal communications,” Tony continues. “Strategically placed screens around the office or factory keep staff updated on company news, the latest campaigns and provide important OSH reminders. Using the mobile network means avoiding additional infrastructure costs and provides the ability to change out campaigns very quickly.”
Ngage Director, Alan Nicholas says digital-out-of-home is the fastest growing medium after mobile.
“It’s a $15billion industry and growing at 23% per annum. Digital signage, mobile and Wi-Fi will be the key methods advertisers use to communicate to the market. Billboards will feed you personalised information, make decisions on what to display according to who is looking at it – and will identify viewers by the mobile in your pocket.”
Nicholas continues: “We’re moving fairly rapidly to a time when what appears on screens and what happens to get it there will be far more than a simple case of operators telling machines what to play and when. Right now, a person managing and scheduling a network is something of a musician. Soon, those people will be arranging and conducting orchestras, with many, varied instruments (those things) potentially adding to the sound.”