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CrowdOptic, LBMA Research Focus-Aware Mobility for Events

April 8, 2013  - By
Image: GPS World

CrowdOptic, a maker of crowd-powered mobile applications for live events, and the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) have joined forces to develop and promote new focus-aware mobile technology for fans at live events.

Part of LBMA’s mandate is to foster research, innovation and pilot projects that push the boundaries of place-based marketing. Through this initiative, LBMA has partnered with several top-tier global brands carefully selected from among LBMA’s large network of marketing affiliates to introduce the new technology to consumers. The technology will be introduced in a series of test launches at major entertainment events throughout the summer, before making it widely to marketers in the fall, the association said.

Focus awareness combines traditional GPS-location awareness with data on where mobile users are aiming their smartphones. Focus-based technology enables new kinds of apps in which users aim their phones to engage with one another as they watch events simultaneously — for example to connect, chat or vote on the shared subject of focus. Focus-awareness also allows marketers to chart the shifting momentum in crowds.

The partnership comes as demand grows among LBMA’s network for mechanisms to enhance context-awareness in mobile. Marketers want to know how many phones are engaged with their apps as events are happening (heat), who those users are, where they are looking, and how the crowd’s engagement is dynamically changing moment to moment — all capabilities of CrowdOptic’s technology.

“Our vision of the future is new apps that dynamically adapt based on knowing what activities people in a crowd are watching and engaging in, as well as joining people with shared interests together, right there in the moment,” said Asif Khan, founder and president of LBMA.

“Focus is an emerging mobile category that will play a significant role in the next generation of location services,” said Brent Iadarola, Global Research Director of Mobile & Wireless Communications at Frost & Sullivan. “In contrast to augmented reality, which combines location and mobile Internet search to provide information on landmarks in static environments, focus-based services enable the tracking and tagging of objects (or individuals) in moving or dynamic environments. By enabling mobile users to point their phones at moving objects or people to access real-time information about their subject of interest, this area of technology in which CrowdOptic is a pioneer clearly presents some very unique and lucrative avenues for hyper-targeted marketing promotions, advertising, and mobile coupons.”

CrowdOptic is in use around the world in apps that enable users to “aim their phone” to act or interact — whether to discuss, report or discover other people based on their shared focus.  The company powers a range of applications which vary from finding friends in a crowd, to aiming a phone to vote, to aiming to alternate views of a live broadcast, to aiming to connect with athletes and celebrities at live events.  The technology works both through an app and anytime without an app, by historically mining the standard metadata tags embedded in shared photo images. The mechanisms used to acquire context beyond location include continuous streams of GPS, compass and triangulation algorithms illuminating common points of focus between mobile users.

The LBMA will begin to introduce these projects which leverage the CrowdOptic platform for top global brands beginning in the summer of 2013.

About LBMA –

The Location Based Marketing Association is an international group dedicated to fostering research, education and collaborative innovation at the intersection of people, places, and media. Our goal is simple: To educate, share best practices, establish guidelines for growth and to promote the services of member companies to brands and other content-related providers. The over 600 members of the LBMA include retailers, restaurant chains, agencies, advertisers, media buyers, software and services providers, and wireless companies.

About CrowdOptic –

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