BlueTorrent 5 brings Minority Report proximity advertising to the high street faster than you can say Tom Cruise rockzorz. OK, so it’s a Bluetooth broadcast program which lets you set up ‘campaigns’ which will beam a file to nearby Bluetooth enabled handsets as they come into range. The campaigns can contain any type of file from an image, to simple text or a vCard or vCalendar file.
So set aside your rabid fear of spam for a moment – and it should be noted that the system is permission based, and will not send a campaign again to a phone once it has been accepted or rejected. so there’s no recipient spam issues apart from the hassle of saying yes or no – and think what it could mean for shoppers and retailers or restaurants and services. The idea that a store could beam out a special 75% off sale of the hour direct the phone of any nearby travellers is pretty awesome from where I’m sitting. We’re talking ranges of 300 metres up to 1 kilometer with the long range version.
Or a restaurant that sends you a short range message saying that lunch is now 90% off for the first lucky 4 visitors. Or the dentist that beams your next appointment via vCalendar to your handset as you leave the surgery. Or vouchers, or agendas as you walk into a meeting, or broadcast a game to your phone as you walk into the doctor’s waiting room so you can play until called. The possibilities are endless. Of course security is an issue, and that’s something which needs thought, especially on how to sandbox incoming files on the handset so potential malware doesn’t get anywhere, but again this is a tech issue which can be dealt with.
There are also bound to be issues with too many broadcasts if everyone starts doing it, but we’re just one stage away from handsets which will only accept ads or marketing in certain categories. So, for instance, I could set my phone up to only accept pizza coupons and offers from sports stores. This is still in the future of course, but it’s not rocket science to implement that kind of tech on the phone. Suddenly Bluetooth marketing becomes a super cool, opt-in, targeted marketing system that delivers real value to the customer.
For now though, this software will work on any Windows computer, and ships with either a short range or long range Bluetooth adapter or without any adapter if you already have a suitable Bluetooth adapter in your laptop or whatever. The program also comes with stats tracking so you can see what campaigns have worked and which not. The software is priced from £49.99 and upwards.
Simply put, BlueTorrent sits on your computer or laptop, all the while scanning for nearby Bluetooth enabled phones or devices, when it finds one, it sends a request, asking if it can send them a message, if the user accepts the message, the file you have chosen is sent to them immediately. If they do not accept, their phone/device is marked as “Declined” and no more messages will be sent to that device on the current campaign. That’s it. Simple!