Sensor-based mobile engagement: Intuitive and delightful

Nils Forsblom
Nils Forsblom wrote this on

Adtile Mobile VR

Annoying and disruptive. Those are the two words that best describe the mobile advertising experience today. Tiny banner ads you can barely decipher and end up clicking on. Those clicks take you to far-away web pages that take too long to load. And let’s not even talk about those unwelcome videos and sounds that trigger automatically.

The problem is most mobile ads are nothing more than mini-desktop ads. They provide no entertainment value or utility, and they fail to take advantage of the things that make smartphones unique. On the other hand, people love mobile apps. What if mobile ads were more like apps?

Tapping the ‘smart’ in smartphones

One of the things that make smartphones unique is their built-in intelligence. Unlike desktops, smartphones are packed with dozens of tiny sensors — an accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, to name a few. These sensors collect all kinds of data on us and the world around us.

By putting that native intelligence to work, it’s possible to create a genuine interactive experience for the user. That’s the concept behind the work at Adtile Technologies. We create native-mobile ads and experiences that engage people in new and delightful ways. Adtile products include Motion Ads and Adtile VR.

Creative that invites the users to play

You can think of Adtile Motion Ad as a tiny app or a game that provides a clear value exchange to the user. You interact with an ad by tilting, shaking, turning, or otherwise playing with it, and you are aptly rewarded with a coupon for a drink, discount, or whatever.

For example, a coffee shop asks your to tilt your phone to fill up a virtual cup with coffee. Another ad encourages you to shake your phone to create your own milkshake. And yet another asks you to press on a virtual button and hold it until 150 users join you in doing the same thing simultaneously. In return, you receive a coupon for a product. The ad also tells you exactly where to go to redeem the coupon: the coffee shop 200 feet away, for instance.

Event sequencing and dynamic visual feedback is the key to these experiences. As you draw a heart in the air with the phone, the heart appears on the screen. As you tilt the phone to fill up a cup with coffee, you see coffee pouring into the cup with zero lag between the movement and the action. The result is a completely natural, intuitive interaction between the ad and the user.

The ads are also non-intrusive, appearing as a natural extension to whatever content a user is viewing. You never feel like an ad is hijacking your phone.

Adtile’s motion-sensing software is built using standard web technologies — HTML, CSS and JavaScript — and delivered as WebViews via Adtile native SDKs, standard mobile tags or MRAID compatible SDK. The Adtile Motion Framework has a very light footprint, only around 15 KB, and comes with a full set of design and developer guidelines, similar to what you would get from Google, Apple or Windows when developing apps.

Constructing your own ad is easy and straightforward. Adtile’s Motion Store provides a vast number of pre-designed and pre-coded consumer experiences to choose from. You simply add your own creative media and storytelling. The responsive ads work on iOS or Android and adjust to any size screen.

Virtual Reality: One step beyond

Mobile VR takes the notion of user engagement a leap further. Some refer to Adtile’s VR framework as lightweight VR because it doesn’t require the awkward goggles as does traditional immersive VR. You simply hold the phone out in front of you, look into the screen, and you see a window into another world.

And you are connected to that world. Adtile VR uses sensor technology to calculate your precise movements in space so the 3D rendering on the smartphone moves with you. Walking, turning or pitching the phone up or down changes the view on the phone with a minuscule amount of latency.

By incorporating the Adtile VR framework into their native or web-based apps, developers can create a world where users can explore places and objects in a new manner. You can literally walk around a car in a showroom or an art piece at a museum, examining the object from every conceivable angle.

Beyond advertising, lightweight VR is useful in helping people find their way around a complex area, such as an airport, shopping mall, sports stadium or even a museum. You can use VR to explore a place you plan on visiting, such as a hotel or resort. Combining mobile VR with iBeacon technology unlocks even greater mapping and navigation potential.

Adtile VR overcomes tough challenges to work on a smartphone. The technology is able to detect movements with a high degree of accuracy and translate those into smooth motion on the screen. This is done with sophisticated algorithms that precisely capture everything from gestures and arm movements to the number of steps a user is taking in real time.

With today’s busy lifestyles, most people spend only a few minutes at a time on mobile apps. Lightweight VR is intended for that sort of casual use, so you don’t have to worry about it draining the battery or generating excessive heat the way immersive VR does. Also, lightweight VR uses minimal bandwidth. The Adtile VR javascript framework is around 450 KB.

The future is mobile-only, not mobile-first. By engaging mobile users through interactive Motion Ads and mobile VR, brands will stand a much better chance of winning over customers’ hearts, instead of annoying and alienating them.

Nils Forsblom

About the Author

Nils is the CEO & Founder of Adtile. You can reach him at nils@adtile.me.

Read all posts by Nils.

Follow us on Twitter