Last week I attended the final pitch event by Startup Wise Guys accelerator and one of the slides that Martin Birac, the CEO of Monolith Advertising had up on the wall made me sit up in a “Wait, what?!” moment.
Unknowing to the participants they had showed couple of ads on a TV screen before the pitching session and used their Monolith machine to measure how many people saw and watched the ads. Although I knew what their product does it was still an eye opener – I was being tracked and measured in a physical space, my reactions to an ad noted by a cold calculating robotic eye.
Monolith’s solution is a mixture of hardware and software (they initially hacked a Microsoft Kinect for this) that tracks your body and your eyes, measures eye contact with the ad space (in this case a TV screen). In the future it’ll be able to track your journey through a mall, telling the merchant if their ad near the mall entrance works in driving foot traffic to their shop.
Martin and Co have also tested a prototype of an augmented reality ad where the viewer was projected inside the ad, making it possible to manipulate the virtual space – sort of like a computer game.
They clearly have plenty of challenges with having a hardware component, breaking new ground, finding first big clients etc but it’s a solution I found really exciting. They’ll be pitching in London this week together with the Springboard companies, hope they nail it!