PLAINVILLE - The Town Council got its first taste of a future technology during a work session prior to Monday’s meeting as Adam Reiser of Nucleus Augmented Reality discussed the potential of augmented reality advertising.
Reiser explained that Nucleus Augmented Reality is an advertising start-up based in West Hartford. Augmented reality, he said, is overlaying digital images over real life.
He said that the popular mobile game “Pokémon Go” was a well-known example of this technology, but that as more advanced technology develops, such as augmented reality headsets, it could also be used for advertising purposes.
Google Glass, he said, is like the “grandfather” of future augmented reality headsets.
“This technology is right around the corner,” Reiser said. “Remember that iPads weren’t around 10 years ago. Augmented Reality headsets are projected to be a $150 billion industry by 2023. It’s pretty much guaranteed. It is already a part of smartphone technology and soon headsets will be wide-adopted just like smartphones.”
Reiser gave the example that Coca-Cola could, in theory, pay to have an image of a can of soda appear on a park bench for someone who was wearing an augmented reality headset to see.
“Companies could use pinpoint targeting like they do with computer advertisements,” Reiser said. “Currently, websites allow for a portion of their pages to be dedicated to advertisements. This is how they make their money. With augmented reality, the same thing could be done for physical locations. Companies could create ads that would show up along sidewalk paths or road signs, parks, athletic fields, pools, schools, libraries or other public buildings.”
Reiser argued that large companies would want to do as much advertising as possible and pay communities as little as possible.
He said that they would likely not reach out to small communities like Plainville.
He offered to be an agent for the town and to create more lucrative deals with this emerging technology.
Councilor Jesse Gnazzo questioned Reiser on what the town’s liability would be if they sold an advertising space on town property and then someone was injured while looking at the digital advertisement.
“With ‘Pokémon Go,’ there were cases of people getting caught in marshes or walking into traffic,” he said. “That was a private app though.”
Council Chairwoman Kathy Pugliese asked who would be able to control the ad content and Reiser said that property owners would need to come up with agreements about what is OK to show when and where.
He said that he could speak to larger companies such as Google or Facebook on behalf of the town.
Pugliese then asked Reiser where augmented reality had been tried before.
He said Plainville is probably one of the first communities to be having a conversation about this technology.
Reiser said that he is reaching out to all surrounding cities and towns in an effort to build up his client base in Connecticut and the Northeast.
Reiser explained to the council that he would not charge the town anything for consulting them about augmented reality.
He said that he would only ask for compensation if he was able to negotiate a deal on their behalf.
Reiser agreed to have follow-up meetings with the town council to answer other questions that they might have.
For more information about Nucleus Augmented Reality, call 860-978-6492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.