I am here at the HP Software Universe / Communications World in Hamburg and met up today with my good friend Tomaz Stolfa of Marand out of Slovenia. They have a development arm that takes advantage of Slovenias considerable competence in advanced mobile services and Tomaz showed me Qootia,and a couple of their innovations. The one I want to talk about is an innovation that I labeled as Extempore Interactive Billboards, and these are done with mobile of course.
The concept? You know the interactive billboards that we can remotely control on our phones, from the original WAP-it SMS chat boards in Helsinki in 2000 to the Nike design-your-own shoe campaign in Times Square. The idea with these is, that the interactive billboard is somewhat a custom solution.
Qootia have taken that idea, but made it extempore-instant and temporary. Do it anywhere, with any platform. Have a rock concert. and want to have your sponsors do a little contest with band t-shirts and autographed CDs as prizes? no problem, use a standard video projector, get web connection, use Qootia and you are live. Better than that - dont need SMS interactivity - this can be done with IVR - using the KEYS on your phone. The 2 key is up and 4 key is to the left and key is to the right - on a movement multiplayer game for example. Powerful, most interactive and yes, all your audience needs is to have a phone. They dont even need to know how to send an SMS to participate. Brilliant !
The example Tomaz showed me, was a campaign they did for Lenovo in Slovenia, where they used a multiplayer football - soccer - game as the interactive element. So where Lenovo would want to engage with sporting audiences - some sporting event for example, they would just to set up a big screen, giant plasma screen or video projector, connect to the Qootia service via the web, and project to the screen. There was the football gaming field, and passers-by asked to join the game by calling a number for free. Then each gamer received an avatar on one of the teams and would use the keypad on the mobile phone to move the player and kick the ball etc. I also understood that Third Frame Studios did part of that game design. But yeah, think of the power of any events advertising for example. Predict the score of the game, join in the avatar virtual version of the live game, do teams-gaming against supporters from either side, etc. And the whole thing is now ex tempore portable and can be set up in minutes at any venue where you have the ability to show some interactive screen of some kind. Ultracool, congrats to all at Qootia. I have to try to get some more info.