THE BLOG

Adaptive Ads Get Personal

02/18/2015 03:37 pm ET | Updated Apr 20, 2015

thumbnailRemember the scene in Minority Report when Tom Cruise's character walks through a mall and is hailed by ads that recognize him and speak to his specific desires and concerns?

Those interactive, all-knowing, perfectly-tailored ads are a marketer's dream come true, and they're now possible thanks to the development of ambient intelligent systems.

In fact, the growth of ambient intelligent systems is fueling a variety of important business innovations right now, and it's a game-changing development that you need to be paying attention to.

So what exactly is an ambient intelligent system? It's a pervasive and seamless computer system that's embedded (it uses many networked sensors that are integrated into the environment), context-aware (it's able to recognize you and your situational context), personalized (it's tailored to your unique needs), adaptive (it's able to change in response to you) and anticipatory (it can silently anticipate your desires without you consciously engaging with it).

Is this newsflash taking you by surprise? It shouldn't. I have often discussed the fact that you can easily anticipate the arrival of new technologies simply by paying attention to the unstoppable exponential advancement of the "three digital accelerators": increased bandwidth, digital storage, and processing power.

Ambient intelligent systems represent the fruition of all three of these accelerators moving technology forward. You should have seen them coming.

Hot New Business Ideas with Ambient Intelligent Systems

Ambient intelligent systems are going to be one of the most disruptive technology innovations of the decade. The possibilities for application go far beyond targeted ads. It's time for you to think about the new opportunities opening up and begin considering how you can take advantage of them.

Take a look at what some innovative businesses are already accomplishing with ambient systems:

  • Gimbal is a context awareness platform that powers new hyper-local mobile applications, launched by Qualcomm. Gimbal provides always-on, low-power tools for geo-fencing and interest triggers which enable apps that can deliver information and experiences adapted to the user's location, time of day, activities, and interests. How can your company take advantage of what Gimbal makes possible?
  • MindMeld, a new iPad app, deploys video chat abilities similar to Skype and also facilitates conversations by adding pertinent photos or videos to the mix as it interprets what's being said by the people talking. Tim Tuttle, the founder of MindMeld, explains that the app examines the past 10 minutes of user activity and then anticipates what the conversing users might need to fuel their conversation in the next 10 seconds. Over time, MindMeld gradually becomes more proficient at reading and aggregating ambient data. How will this change the way your team communicates with each other?
  • Highlight, a new ambient intelligence app for smartphones, automatically scans people around you and checks their social media profiles. If the app finds people that might be of interest to you (for example, someone who works in the same field as you or shares a specific hobby), it will alert you and let you know everything it can find on the Internet about them. How will Highlight change your social network and range of opportunities?
Is your head spinning with ideas yet?

It should. The potential applications of ambient intelligent systems extend into absolutely every arena of our lives. In a relatively short amount of time, ambient intelligent systems will pervade our hospitals and homes - easing and facilitating everything from the way we cook dinner to the way we receive care.

Your Turn to Redefine and Reinvent

It should be clear right now that the emergence of ambient intelligent systems into our world demands that your business continually reinvent itself in order to stay in touch with rapidly evolving consumer capabilities and desires.

Remember: we live in a time of constant, radical change. Old models, tried-and-true wisdom, and previous experience do us little good in this landscape. We have never had this kind of processing power and bandwidth, this kind of runaway acceleration in technological capacity, and it has completely transformed our relationship to the concept of stability.

As a business leader or entrepreneur, you have urgent questions in front of you every day: Are your customers changing faster than you are? And are your competitors learning faster than you?

If you are not already designing and providing the solutions to the problems and demands of the next week and next year, you are behind the curve when you cannot afford to be behind. And this is true whether you are an individual, a small business, or a multinational corporation.

So how is your business going to harness the disruptive technology, like ambient intelligent systems, to gain new competitive advantages?