Talk about direct advertising: Commuters in Germany are getting ads transmitted into their heads via bone conduction technology. When passengers lean their head against the window, it sends vibrations through the temple to the inner ear. The sound is not audible through the air so it doesn’t disturb other passengers, at least.
The concept is the brainchild of BBDO, an ad agency for Sky satellite service. Its intrusive ad campaign hasn’t been well-received but there are many other applications, spokesman Ulf Brychcy told the BBC.
“Some people don´t like advertising in general,” Brychcy maintains. “But this is really a new technology. [It might] not only be used for advertising, but also for music, entertainment, mass transport information, weather reports and so on.”
The technology will also be used in Google glasses, which will free up ears to listen for oncoming traffic.
This isn’t a completely original idea. In the eerily prophetic Futurama episode “A Fishful of Dollars” Fry has commercials beamed directly into his brain while dreaming. When he voices his concerns about brainwashing, Leela asks if there were ads in the 20th century.
“Well sure but not in our dreams,” Fry explains. “Only on TV and radio… and magazines and movies and ballgames. On buses and milk cartons and t-shirts and bananas and written on the sky but not in dreams. No siree!”
His co-workers insist he’s not being forced to buy anything and then they quickly excuse themselves to go shopping.
Did I mention, you can download this episode for the low low price of $1.99?