Audio Spotlight technology was recently featured on an NPR Radio segment that explored the 5,000-year history of billboards. The “Audacious” program, hosted by Chion Wolf, included an interview with Holosonics’ Founder and CEO Dr. F. Joseph Pompei, who discussed a range of billboard and digital signage applications throughout the world that utilize Audio Spotlight technology.
Audio Spotlight, which has been featured previously on TV shows, radio segments, and podcasts, produces narrow beams of sound, similar to beams of light from a flashlight. In the NPR program, Dr. Pompei described – among other projects – a billboard that appeared in New York City to promote the A&E television series “Paranormal State”.
“It was a four-story-high billboard and the Audio Spotlights were aimed at the sidewalk and as you walked down the street the billboard whispered ‘Hey, do you believe in ghosts – well I do, and let me tell you about what I know”, Dr. Pompei said. “And people would stop in their tracks, they’d look around and they couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.”
He said the “best testament” to describe how well the directional sound of the A&E billboard worked was the moment he saw a couple walking side-by-side and the man said to the woman “Did you hear that, and she said, ‘Hear what?’”.
“It was very effective,” Dr. Pompei said, “And it got a lot of attention for the show with our technology.
In addition to the “Paranormal State” billboard, Audio Spotlight directional sound has been used for traditional and digital Out Of Home (OOH) advertising for NASCAR billboards in North Carolina’s Charlotte EpiCentre, a Star Wars-themed street promotion in Hong Kong, digital kiosk signage for the Bank of Dubai in the UAE, and high-definition digital projections in Los Angeles and New York City to promote the release of “The Beatles in Mono” vinyl record collection.
During the interview, Dr. Pompei also described how a friend from graduate school who became a technical consultant in the film industry used Audio Spotlight technology as the inspiration for a scene in the 2002 film Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise. During a scene in the movie, Cruise’s character is immersed in personalized advertising that utilizes directional sound and digital signage as he navigates his way through a futuristic shopping mall.
“There was a very popular demo (of Audio Spotlight technology) that he was aware of and he drew inspiration from that for the movie,” Dr. Pompei said.
For digital signage advertising, billboards, and retail advertising, Audio Spotlight directional SoundBeam® technology is currently used throughout the world to reach consumers in settings that include public spaces, shopping malls, and retail outlets. In the Out Of Home (OOH) advertising industry, the Obie-winning Audio Spotlight sound beaming technology has been used in conjunction with outdoor billboards, in-store retail activations, and guerrilla HD projection campaigns.
Click here to listen to the Audacious episode entitled “The Big Picture: What Billboards Do To Us”.