Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google to Introduce Streetview Advertising.

Most people loathe advertising, and generally with good reason. It's annoying, time-consuming, distracting and frankly a major deterrent to most forms of media. However, you have to admit Google's recent patent to advertise using streetview is just damn brilliant.

According to a new patent that was just granted to Google, the company could soon extend the reach of its advertising program in Google Maps to Street View. This patent, which was originally filed on July 7, 2008, describes a new system for promoting ads in online mapping applications. In this patent, Google describes how it plans to identify buildings, posters, signs and billboards in these images and give advertisers the ability to replace these images with more up-to-date ads. In addition, Google also seems to plan an advertising auction for unclaimed properties.

In Google's example, the software could identify the marquis and individual window posters on a theater property and replace them with new information. Through this, a theater could promote a new play in Street View, even if the actual Street View image is completely out of date.The patent describes a two-step process for identifying potential advertising real estate in these images. Google's software first identifies interest points in the image (e.g. the edges or corners of an object) and then generates features around these interest points. Google can then augment this region of the image with a link or replace a part of the current Street View image with a new image.

It's genius. Sure, advertising is still annoying, but if done correctly this could be a milestone in how marketers convey products to their customers. Think about the future generations of this--will movies that show Coke cans or other subtle branding be able to manipulate this as the years go by? Will TV shows be able to change their characters clothing to reflect current trends? Whatever the outcome, Google continues to lead the forefront in technology and innovation, and its a trend that seems to have no end in sight.