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Frightening way advertisers can target your TV and phone

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Frightening way advertisers can target your TV and phone
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Do you own a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or is one built into your cable box? It's so convenient to record a live show that you don't have time to watch and then view it when you're ready. And the best part? You can skip past all the commercials!

Unfortunately, a new technology may find a loophole and still find a way to get ads through to you. If this catches on then you might start seeing ads on your phone while you watch TV.

Korean entrepreneurs are working on Soundl.ly, a new technology that will use your TV's speakers to transmit messages to your smartphone. Along with the sound from the show, inaudible ultrasounds will come through the TV and be picked up by your phone's microphone. Their aim is to enhance the viewer's experience and help advertisers engage with their audience.

Sounds transmitted at a certain frequency are only audible to children and animals. In the past, broadcasting ultrasounds hasn't been allowed because it can irritate their ears. The creators behind Soundl.ly have made it so that the volume is low enough to not cause any harm.

This new technology has a few parts to it. Sound Beacon is their system that inserts the ultrasounds into TV shows or movies. Then companies incorporate Soundl.ly SDK into their mobile apps so that the phone can recognize the transmissions. Advertisers use Soundl.ly Portal to view analytics and see if the commercials were effective.

Let's say you're watching Hawaii 5-0. If you have an airline mobile app on your phone, it may give you notifications about discounts on flights to Hawaii. Another travel app might suggest tourist attractions in Hawaii and a business review app could start suggesting popular Hawaiian restaurants.

The new technology can be used for more than just ads, TV shows can use it to make your viewing experience more interactive. Imagine watching NFL games and seeing a virtual football game pop up on your phone. A contestant on "The Voice" just finished singing a ballad and your phone sends you a link to vote her into the next round. During the credits for "Criminal Minds," a video pops up to give you behind-the-scenes footage of filming the episode.

Advertisers are always looking for new ways to push their products. Sometimes their methods are quite intrusive. Hopefully, this will remain an opt-in service where you need to download an app in order to view the messages. But if more and more companies want to include this technology in their mobile apps then it may become inevitable.

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Source: New Atlas
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