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Surprising Science

In Germany, Sleeping On The Train May Become A Lot Harder

Using bone conduction technology, two firms have created a way to pitch ads to train travelers when they rest their heads against the window.

What’s the Latest Development?

Advertising agency BBDO Germany and broadcaster Sky Deutschland have collaborated on a system that, when installed on a train, would pitch ads to tired commuters when they lean their heads against a window. By using bone conduction technology, which allows sound to travel through bone to the inner ear, the ads would only be heard by the person, and in fact they would seem to “come from inside the person’s head.” Tests of the prototype Talking Window system on public transport vehicles in two German cities were met with a positive response, while comments on a demonstration YouTube video were less favorable, with thumbs-down votes in the lead as of yesterday (July 3). The system was demonstrated at last month’s International Festival of Creativity in Cannes.

What’s the Big Idea?

Bone conduction is used in listening devices for the hard-of-hearing and others who need or want an alternative to traditional headphones. The Talking Window concept takes that technology to a new level, says spokesman Uly Brychcy: “Some people don’t like advertising in general. But this is really a new technology. [It might] not only be used for advertising, but also for music, entertainment, mass transport information, weather reports and so on.” As of right now the system will only be available in Germany, says Brychcy.

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Read it at BBC News


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