Bluetooth and "Placecasting"

Following from my previous post about the Landrover promotion, I did a bit more research and learned about Consola, the Open Source Proximity Media Server.  As far as I can tell from their sparse website, the project is designed to create an open source method for what the project calls "placecasting" – or sending a message to bluetooth enabled devices within a specified geographic area.  I posted earlier about the potential problems with using Bluetooth for marketing, and I believe these definitely apply to the Landrover promotion.  Thinking beyond this example, however, I think there could be some interesting applications for the concept of placecasting.  In particular, I think using bluetooth in this way could enable interesting self service audio tours in tourism locations.  Bring your own bluetooth headset, and you are connected.  If you can deal with the lack of control buttons (such as pause and fast forward), this could be an interesting application.  I am sure there are other applications for placecasting – and hopefully Landrover won’t be the last to try using Bluetooth in smart ways.  Their promotion may be a miss, but for interactive marketers seeking new channels and ideas for reaching audiences, it’s worth considering where else placecasting might fit into a marketing strategy.

Update: As a commenter to this post pointed out, Proximity Media recently launched their Bluetooth MediaServer on May 18th and have a more sophisticated bluetooth marketing offering than Consola.  It will be interesting to see how the concept of placecasting gains more traction as marketers experiment with Proximity Media’s new offering.  Their blog (now empty) will be one to check out for ideas when they get started posting in there.

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