June 15, 2012
Xbox Live ... combine the interactivity of the internet with old-school television viewing, Microsoft says. Photo: AFP
Interactive advertising, where you can wave or talk to commercials, is coming to a screen near you after Microsoft unveiled "NUads" for its Xbox Live online entertainment service.
The "NUads", like interactive advertisements on the web, allow viewers to respond to commercials through its Kinect sensor by answering questions and waving at the screen, Microsoft said yesterday.
And the software giant’s advertisers may one day be able to read your moods while you watch television, according to a patent application last week, MSNBC reported.
'New era for TV advertising'
Microsoft, which is behind the Xbox 360 videogame consoles, said Toyota, Unilever, and Samsung Mobile USA were developing campaigns tailored for "NUads" that will be rolled out on Xbox Live in three months or so.
"NUads marks the beginning of a new era for TV advertising," Xbox Live entertainment and advertising general manager Ross Honey said.
"It delivers the one thing traditional TV advertising is missing - engagement."
Viewers of NUads can provide feedback, such as taking surveys or answering questions, using button-and-toggle controllers or motion or voice control capabilities of Kinect accessories for Xbox 360 consoles.
Advertisers get the potentially insightful data, plus generalised demographic information about respondents.
"We developed NUads to breathe new life into the standard 30-second spot," Honey said. "With NUads, brands can get real-time feedback from audiences, making TV advertising actionable for the first time."
In the June 7 application to the US Patent & Trademark Office, Microsoft said it wanted to develop a ‘‘computer system’’ that would be able to ‘‘target advertisements based on emotional states’’.
As pointed out by MSNBC, the system could use a device like Kinect to identify a viewer’s emotions through their voices and gestures:
‘‘[T]he voice and gestures from the computing device, eg. Microsoft Kinect.TM. 270, may be analysed for speech patterns, body movement, and facial expression to determine whether the user is smiling, frowning, screaming, etc.
"If the user on the videos or images from the computing device, eg. Microsoft Kinect.TM. 270, is screaming, the advertisement engine 120 may assign a negative emotional state, such as, upset, to the user.
"If the user on the videos or images from the computing device, eg. Microsoft Kinect.TM. 270, is pacing back and forth, the advertisement engine 120 may assign a negative emotional state, such as, worried, to the user."
Growing revenue from TV ads
Microsoft expected to charge premium prices for the internet age television ads. Global revenue from television advertising this year will top $US187 billion and climb in the years ahead, according to market trackers.
Microsoft this month stepped up its quest to be at the heart of home entertainment by syncing Xbox 360 consoles to smartphones and tablets while adding more blockbuster content.
Microsoft unveiled Xbox SmartGlass software for linking the world’s leading consoles to iPhones, iPads, Android-powered gadgets and, of course, devices powered by the firm’s new Windows 8 operating system.
SmartGlass capitalises on the growing popularity of using Xbox Live to stream movies, music and other entertainment from the Internet.
The application lets people start watching a film on a tablet and then easily switch to home television screens without breaking continuity, a demonstration showed.
After a film routes to a television, the tablet automatically begins displaying supplementary information about actors or other topics related to the movie being watched.
smh.com.au and AFP