Sunday, August 05, 2007

BlueFire brings user-generated content to digital signs

About a year ago we first started looking at the possibility that somebody would figure out a way to bring together the some of the biggest buzzwords in marketing today -- namely, user generated content (UGC) and digital signage. There have been a few attempts so far, with BlueFire Digital's being the latest, as announced in this press release. The system, designed for bars, night clubs, malls and other places where young, tech-savvy people tend to congregate, gives patrons the opportunity to capture content with their camera phones and send it to nearby digital signs. The idea, I suppose, is that by getting people to engage with the screens, they'll be more likely to pay attention to advertisements running alongside the UGC, more positively associate marketing messages, and so forth.

Most interestingly, perhaps, is the fact that BlueFire is not bundling the service exclusively with their own hardware/software, but instead will offer it for use on competing solutions as well. While the business and cost models surrounding the use of UGC is still uncertain, by allowing anybody with a digital signage platform to give it a try, BlueFire is reducing their overall risk by maximizing the chances of the software's adoption by the industry.

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Unknown said...

Hi Bill - is there any information on the technology behind this mechanism? Does the phone communicate with the in-store FPD through a blue-tooth receiver?

Thanks much for your help.

Unknown said...


BlueFire uTV uses both SMS and Bluetooth for communication.

I'm a avid reader of your blog for its' great insight and humor!


Bill Gerba said...

I don't know exactly what the Bluefire system is using, but I've been involved with similar projects in the past when we've used a commercial SMS or MMS gateway like CellTrust or GoLive! Mobile, which basically accepts the SMS or MMS message, and then forwards it to an application or service of your choosing.

Bill Gerba said...

oh, looks like Jay already responded :)

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the very helpful response guys.

One more question: do you'll know anyone at the company for me to get in touch with?

Thanks much.