Holosonic Sound in Marketing
If you’ve ever walked past a speaker, museum exhibit or display and heard a sound that you swore no one else could hear, then you’ve experienced holosonic sound. These directed sound beams were first discovered in the mid 20th century during experiments with unconventional sound waves for the purpose of producing highly accurate sonar systems for submarines and ships.
Are holosonic sounds the next big thing in marketing?
The special speaker and delivery system inherent in holosonic sound beams enables sound vibrations to be directed outward in a narrow cone shape, instead of the concentric spheres more common in dispersed sound. This not only enables marketers to specifically reach out and speak to one individual at a time, it enables them to do so without contributing to noise pollution, which is a serious issue in modern cities.
The first commercial use of holosonic sound was in museum displays, where the directed nature of the sound enabled for short films, lectures or informational sessions to be broadcast only to those looking at a specific exhibit, without disturbing others. Charles Phillips of Infor is famous for promoting this technology in the Museum of Natural History, which has enabled recordings to augment and even replace traditional museum guides and guided tours. This has greatly contributed to making the museum quieter, and also enables for longer, more in-depth lectures and explanations to be given, since those who are not interested can simply move to another exhibit or even just step slightly aside.
The same logic that enables holosonic sound beams to be effective in museums also makes them effective in advertising. Animated full-motion advertisements are becoming the norm, especially in high traffic areas, and most cities will not tolerate advertisements that are audible over long distances or very distracting. Augmenting the video with sound will greatly increase its effectiveness, and using holosonic sound beams instead of loud speakers will ensure that the advertisements are not derided for noise pollution. Additionally, it enables the advertisement to speak in a normal tone of voice and without excessive volume, which helps to prevent the advertisement from annoying or harassing the listener.
Holosonic displays are also less intrusive, which is very important in most of today’s urban situations. Mall and subway displays which create a lot of noise are quickly derided and shut down. Holosonic systems enable the same information and advertisement to be delivered without creating such a problem. Additionally, since they only broadcast to the few people who are in line with and facing the advertisement, it enables the ad to “talk” to them, which is more likely to catch and hold their attention.
Holosonic sound can also enable advertisements to reach out and speak to someone who is waiting in line without disturbing his neighbors, or even personally address a single person sitting on a train or bus – and only when they look at a specific advertisement.
This enables holosonic ads to maximize their impact without driving the customer away, thus ensuring that the customer pays close attention and gets whatever the ad is trying to say.