Japanese ad platform mixes image recognition, GPS, time data

Users will take pictures of posters or commercials to get offers and info based on where they are and what time it is

One of Japan's largest ad agencies will soon launch a new ad platform that mixes image recognition software with GPS and time data from smartphones to link consumers with product information.

The new system from Tokyo-based Hakuhodo, which launches Feb. 18, is based around a mobile app that consumers use to take pictures of ads or commercials. The app uses image-matching technology with an online database of ads to send relevant offers or data back to the user.

The "Kokoku Plus" app also records a GPS location and time stamp for each picture, so the information sent by advertisers can be varied based on where and when an ad is encountered. The app requires no registration or personal information from users to operate. "Kokoku" is the Japanese word for "advertisement."

"This is the next step from barcodes and links in advertisements," said Hakuhodo spokeswoman Yukiko Ono. She said the company hopes to expand the platform abroad eventually, but has no solid plans to do so yet.

QR, or "quick response" codes are common in Japan, often appearing in the corner of magazine and street ads. Hakuhodo hopes to replace the boxy two-dimensional barcodes, which users must carefully scan in using reader software, with the ads themselves.

The codes are steadily gaining popularity outside of Japan as well -- comScore said last year that QR code use over the summer months doubled from 2011.

The new platform uses image recognition software called "Gaziru" from Japanese electronics giant NEC. The company built the software to solve the complex problem of recognizing images of real-world objects regardless of the angle from which they are photographed, of which identifying ads is a small subset.

The initial launch of Kokoku Plus will include ads and commercials from major Japanese advertisers including Daihatsu, Hitachi, and Suntory.

The app will also take user motions as commands. For example, flicking a phone at an advertisement after it has been identified by the software will bring up more information about its products, while shaking it downwards will download related coupons.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Topics: popular science, retail, industry verticals, NEC, Hakuhodo
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?