Have you ever fancied having a conversation with a smartphone ad? No I can’t say that I have either, but Nuance has just released a new product called Voice Ads which brings conversations to mobile advertising.
Ok so you’re not going to have a fully fledged discussion about a new product with your smartphone, but Nuance’s technology will allow ad developers to engage more directly with consumers and address common queries straight from an advertisement. This is being marketed specifically at mobile advertisers, as it will allow them to squeeze more information into the limited screen space.
The technology also allows ads to take advantage of location and microphone data to tailor the experience to the user. So for example, in loud areas the app won’t waste time trying to talk to you, and there’s the potential for ads to alert you to nearby businesses which might be of interest.
Under the hood, Nuance’s technology uses natural language processing to better interpret user queries. Designers can specify a Q&A type script, so that the ad can respond to predefined questions. The inclusion of natural language processing ensures that ads will be able to understand the query even if the visitor isn’t using the exact wording specified by the ad company. So it’s a pretty smart piece of technology.
If you want to take a look at an example advertisement using Nuance’s Voice Ads, then check out the video below. It features a magic 8 ball promoting a fictional deodorant brand named Alpha.
If advertising companies can come up with some amusing and clever campaigns utilizing this technology then it could make mobile advertising much more interesting and enjoyable for consumers. But I’ll admit that I’m a little skeptical whether consumers will been keen on reacting with advertisements, or simply find them irritating.