So have you read MediaJobs most recent article from Roy Weissman about skipping on trying to make money on the ads and just going straight to selling products? What would you say if the product being sold WAS the digital advertising outlet? Lately we’ve been going in-depth on the wearable technology front like the LED fabrics we covered and most of us have already become aware of the strides that have been made with flexible electronics, so check this out. Presently a company called ShiftWear is working hard seeking funding for their miraculous product on Indiegogo. The product being promoted is a prototype pair of shoes that have screens incorporated into them. The screens are made from flexible E‑Ink color displays, a type of super-thin digital screen that mimics the appearance of paper.
Digital shoes, well, what are the implications for advertisers?
On the screens you can display two types of images, static or moving, and the image presented can be customized and selected by Bluetooth communication (jobs for Bluetooth communication) via a smartphone app or tablet. You could even display photographs. The idea is to let users browse, download, and program designs for the shoes. Art can be created for personal use or submitted up to the marketplace for others to purchase. Neat, right!
See the promotional video from ShiftWear here:
The shoes rely on a “walk and charge” system, meaning that each step taken by the wearer is turned into electricity stored in a battery that powers the screens. Wireless charging is also possible. The built-in batteries are designed to last up to 30 days, depending on the type of visuals set. Static images will consume little-to-no power, while animated graphics would be expected to drain batteries much faster, especially with increased complexity or frequency. There is also a back light so images appear clearly at night.
For the active user the soles are coated in the super-strong fiber Kevlar to help protect the screens from impact. The company has said the trainers are waterproof up to five meters, and can be machine washed. To be honest, other flexible E‑ink projects have gone through crowdfunding but just didn’t accrue the needed dollars, however, ShiftWear managed to raise 389 percent of its US$25,000 goal in 10 days and it’s a 30 day campaign. I’ll tell you this right now the minimum pledge is $150 (count me out). Mind you the funds are just to get a prototype up and running so they can try to get them on the market mid-2016. Good luck on that as well knowing the history of timeliness for crowd-funded initiatives.
Digital Advertising is going for a stroll down Branding boulevard!
But really, when you think about it, digital advertising is dying a strange death, people hate seeing them and Ad-blockers have proliferated, but imagine paying teens and young adults a fee to promote static or mobile ads for a minimal fee. You know the old shoes that hang from the street light and electrical wires around town; what if they were showing ads for Mountain Dew or Trident Gum? Personally the branding opportunities alone are mind boggling. In media who have to think on your feet, literally.