Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Outdoor is set to go online. Huh?

Forget Second Life (apologies if you were born post 2007, precious reader). The new unreality will be much more practical. Google has just been granted a new patent to post 48 sheets in Street View. Imagine tooling around the Street View version of city centre Dublin on a wet and windy Tuesday morning, as you build your personal map of Aldi locations for the rest of the year's shopping excursions. You cruise down Parnell Street and why, there's a great big dirty poster for none other than the Dunnes Stores outlet around the corner on Henry Street. And then it revolves! Just like the oh-so-futuristic prismatics of the eighties! And behold, it's another supermarket poster, except this time for Tesco in the Jervis Centre!

Far fetched? Don't be silly. No reason thus far why your competitors can't own virtual ad space over an online image of your company's real outlet. Google applied for the patent over a year and a half ago and now they have it. As RWW says

The patent describes a two-step process for identifying potential advertising real estate in these images. Google's software first identifies interest points in the image (e.g. the edges or corners of an object) and then generates features around these interest points. Google can then augment this region of the image with a link or replace a part of the current Street View image with a new image.

This thrills me in ways that I can barely describe, but I will try.
It's like Bruce Boxleitner in Tron hitting a 90° turn at 200 mph and smashing into a giant sheet of cyberglass being carefully walked across the information superhighway (aah, remember that place?) by The Lawnmower Man and Max Headroom. When it shatters into a billion fragments, each one is a beautifully perfect hologram, spinning in luscious slo-mo, and you can buy full rights (for a limited period only, natch) to any number of these holograms and have full HDR of your logo, company strapline and a looped piece of high def footage (10 seconds) from one of your Antiques Roadshow-era 'tellyvision' ads, for that added company heritage brand pillars wheel pyramid thingummy feel.


Fuck. I have to stop with the mushrooms. Next I'll be seein- YEEARGHHHHHHHH!


Spotted via @ciaranoreilly. Image courtesy zdnet.com

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