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Japanese mobile operator Softbank and leasing firm Orix are keen to have passers-by being able to interact with (digital) signboards and receive customized advertising. The 46 inch digital signboard will be installed in a number of East Asian markets and will be able to list advertisements, and send out email messages, in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

Advertisers can get their interactive content displayed from US$ 990 per month. Softbank and Orix are installing the first digital signboard at the Hakata International Ferry Terminal and hope to deploy 10,000 signboards over the next five years.
Over the past five years we have seen paper signboards being replaced by luminous, dynamic image signboards. 2D tags and short text dialling codes allow passers-by to capture advertising content via email or MMS. Bluetooth offers another means to download content direct to the end-user’s handset.
Digital signboards have even greater potential. They could potentially sense the “presence” and “interests” of the passer-by who has opted in to having a carefully vetted profile “short-range broadcasted” via Bluetooth to a local digital signboards in your vicinity. Addicted to Starbucks coffee or craving for your favourite Subway sandwich? Your friendly neighbourhood digital signboard could not only flag up the nearest store to you, offer you a 10% discount (if say you visit the store in the next 4 hours) and then download turn-by-turn pedestrian (or vehicular) directions to the store to your smartphone.

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