Mobiles, Advertising and Purchaser Tracking

In today’s New York Times, Claire Cain Miller and Somini Sengupta write in a front-page article about the collision of traditional Internet advertising practices and the new reality of mobile devices with a new level of access to shopping information and ads hybridized with the physical world: the click-through has become the walk-in, and this puts a cramp on existing business models.  The trends that take monetization to a whole new plane now align eerily with Robots Futures’ chapter on New Mediocracy: it’s all about bridging the Internet-physical world tracking divide as far as corporations will be concerned: they need intelligence, not just on your behavior on-line, but on your ad click behavior, plus which store you then go walking into, plus just what you buy in that store. The internet record breaks into the brick and mortar world because your mobile sucks Internet-land and physical space into the same hyperspace that you explore continuously.  Some choice quotes: “We’re going to know a tremendous amount about people” (Marc Andreesen); “We’re really starting to live in a new reality, one where the ubiquity of screens really helps users move from intent to action much faster and more seamlessly” (Larry Page).  Stay tuned to see mobile app’s, infrastructure image understanding, behavior tracking and discount schemes that all aim to track human behavior seamlessly and comprehensively in both the digital and physical realms. Then fasten your seat belt for the second half of Chapter 1, when near-perfect human behavior tracking leads to optimization of advertising at an individual level, with resulting conversion efficiencies that will have every for-profit company chomping at the bit.


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