02 Plans wireless push to Six Nations fans’ mobiles

O2 is to be the first company to use wearable versions of short-range wireless devices to distribute content to mobile phones. Rugby fans at next Sunday’s Six Nations match in Dublin will be able to get ringtone versions of the English national anthem and the official Irish rugby anthem.

English fans arriving at Dublin airport and both teams’ fans arriving at the ground will be invited to hold their phones close to devices from mobile marketing company Hypertag, which will be worn on sashes by O2 representatives. O2 sponsors the England team.

Hypertag’s technology uses short-range wireless signals to send information to mobile phones via infra-red or Bluetooth. Users simply activate the infra-red or Bluetooth on their phone, hold it up to the Hypertag and receive content such as vouchers, business cards, ringtones or games. Because they use short-range wireless rather than text messaging, there is no charge involved either to brand or consumer.

Hypertags have previously been used to add interactivity to poster campaigns, and the company has worked with media owners such as Viacom Outdoor and JC Decaux, as well as with brands such as Hewlett Packard, O2 and Procter & Gamble.

The most recent use of Hypertags was for a safety awareness campaign on the London Underground. Transport for London installed posters at 25 Tube stations with interactive Hypertags, which commuters could use to access “safe” travel data via their mobiles. Because Hypertags use wireless technology to transmit content, they can be used in areas where there is no mobile signal, such as Tube stations.

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