Microsoft tests interactive billboards

Internet Explorer is to use gesture controlled digital billboards to showcase how its latest browser offers consumers “the beauty of the web”.

Internet Explorer

The outdoor sites will let consumers use hand and arm movements to control the content they view and engage with through an interactive menu.

The Microsoft-owned software giant says it is the first time the technology, created by 3D Exposure and Clear Channel, has been used in a commercial format.

The posters, which promote Internet Explorer’s companion website for the recently released Hunger Games film, also use age and gender recognition technology, proximity sensing, facial tracking and augmented reality to present consumers with a virtual “identity card” granting them access to exclusive content on the Hollywood
blockbuster’s microsite.

Gabby Hegerty, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Windows Live lead, says: “It makes sense to use creative and interactive marketing channels to promote the best of the web.

“We hope this new format will create a buzz and generate a positive perception about what the Internet Explorer brand is about.”

The outdoor activity is part of a brand campaign from Internet Explorer to showcase the “beauty of the web” as viewed through its latest IE9 browser.

The campaign, which includes online, cinema and TV activity, is Internet Explorer’s biggest marketing push for several years. The brand is usually promoted through tie-ups with other Microsoft products.

Hegerty says the campaign is not intended to boost Internet Explorer’s long-standing dominance of the browser market, but it is hoped it will “drive the web forward” and encourage users and developers to explore all of its capabilities.

“We are taking a market leader approach to show what’s possible on the web; people care about the web but they don’t necessarily care about the browser we use [which is why] our proposition is about welcoming the world to a more beautiful web,” she adds.

Internet Explorer marked its first growth in global usage in recent years in March, boosting its market share by 1% month on month to 53.8%, according to web analytics company Net Applications. By comparison, Firefox dipped 0.3% to 20.6% share and Google owned Chrome fell by the same amount to 18.6%.

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