Why Infrared Camera Technology Could Change the Advertising Game

By Chris Barr 

Back in 2014, Apple filed for a patent which outlines a camera system that detects infrared signals on its devices. To put it simply, Apple’s phones in the near future will use infrared light to send and receive data or prompt your iPhone to behave a certain way. There are many issues which could appear in regards to this technology, including security, privacy and much more. However, there are also some potentially positive outcomes for social media agencies. How can social media marketers use this new technology? Here's an explanation of how it works, what its strengths are, and a scenario in which you can put it to use.

How Does It Work?

infrared camera technology

Here are the mechanics on how this new technology works: Your phone will now be able to receive data through its camera from another device (we will refer to this device as a “hub” from this point onward). The hub emits infrared waves all the time. In order for consumers to tap into the hub, all they need to do is point the phone’s camera toward the hub while the camera is activated. Upon doing this, the phone will be able to receive the data offered up by the hub via a menu that presents itself.

What Are Its Strengths?

With this new technology in hand, mobile devices can receive data wirelessly, all from a localized source. The data can travel at speeds that are much higher than bluetooth (1500 times faster) or WiFi (45 times faster). This means that content can reach people, with or without connection to the internet or cell service. All that is required is the phone’s camera to be functional.  

Use Case: Getting Content into the Subway

infrared camera technology and the subway

Suppose you are doing advertising for a new action movie in the subways of New York and have a killer ad that will run on the inside of the train cars for a few weeks. Sure this static ad is nice, but what if we place a hub behind it? Now when someone points their camera at the banner they can watch a thirty second trailer in gorgeous high definition for the movie. As a bonus , they can also receive a digital coupon, say, for popcorn when they go see the film in the theater.

This trailer can be accessed by many people at the same time, as the hub is always emitting a signal and there is no limit to the amount of individuals who can access the content at one time. If 50 people point their phone at the hub, then 50 people are able to download and watch that trailer simultaneously.

In Conclusion...

The possibilities concerning application and implementation with this technology are quite robust and likely coming soon. A subway trailer is just one small and specific example of how infrared technology in mobile devices could be utilized in the marketing and advertising realm to deliver great content to millions of people. So get the wheels turning and think about how this might be used within your own company or to serve your clients in a way that would add value to your services. When it does become available, you'll be ready.

What do you think could be in store for marketers when infrared technology becomes available? Share your thoughts with the Likeable Media team below!