London, UK: Premium digital out of home (DOOH) media owner Ocean Outdoor has announced plans to introduce touchless advertising screens which will transform audience and brand experiences post COVID-19.
Ocean will be deploying mid-air haptics technology to DOOH, replacing touchscreen activity with displays and interfaces which are triggered by natural hand interactions.
The virtual technology, which doesn’t require any wearables, will be integrated into Ocean screens in key experiential spaces and deployed on a campaign by campaign basis, allowing audiences to trigger or control screen content using hand gestures instead of touch surfaces.
Ocean is the first preferred DOOH media owner in the UK to work with technology company Ultraleap to facilitate of the roll out of touchless campaigns across its premium retail and city centre portfolio.
Director of Ocean Labs Catherine Morgan said: “The introduction of touchless screen technology across our portfolio is timely. People are understandably cautious about using any kind of touchscreen technology in public places. Haptics is an ideal solution. It is hygienic, safe and will add a whole new dimension to Ocean’s experiential offer and immersive brand experiences.
“Post the coronavirus lockdown, consumers will be craving positive connections, so brands who create the all-important wow factor will get greater cut through to emotionally resonate with audiences during this highly charged time, providing the potential to exponentially grow market share.”
Ultraleap’s virtual touch technology uses hand tracking and ultrasound to create sensations on a user’s hand to simulate the sense of touch. Ultraleap sensors allow the sensation to react to movement in real time.
As well as controlling content via hand gestures, the haptics provide immersive sensations on a participant’s palm, which are customised and synced to the interactive on-screen experience. These can be anything from electric forcefields, fizzy bubbles or even a virtual button that you can feel on your palm.
Steve Cliffe, CEO of Ultraleap, said: “We’re proud to power immersive, engaging and safe brand experiences with Ocean Outdoor and their clients. As we all navigate the post COVID-19 world, Ocean is prepared and ready to combine our technology and great brand content to give consumers that spark of joy, as well as reassurance.”
About Ocean Outdoor
Ocean Outdoor operates some of the most prestigious digital out-of-home (DOOH) locations in the UK, Northern and Continental Europe.
The Ocean portfolio features the UK’s most iconic DOOH locations including the BFI IMAX; the Landsec Piccadilly Lights and a significant presence in the top 12 UK cities. Ocean’s portfolio of high-profile landlords and partners includes Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Southampton City Councils, Landsec, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the BFI and intu.
In the UK, a continued focus on Ocean’s Digital Cities for Digital Citizens philosophy has significantly augmented the Group’s position as an operator of high quality DOOH assets. Ocean continues to deliver good organic development through new City tender wins, the rollout of new locations in Scotland, London, the West Midlands and Manchester and significant screen investment.
Strategic acquisitions that complement the existing DOOH portfolio remain a strategic pillar of the growth programme. This continued with three Dutch acquisitions in spring 2019, giving the company a significant share of the Netherlands market where it has become a major DOOH player. These subsidiaries have since been rebranded as Ocean Netherlands.
In September 2019, Ocean acquired the assets of Visual Art, a Sweden based independent, pure-play DOOH media and tech group which operates in three Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark) and key cities in Germany. This transaction expands Ocean’s portfolio across 23 Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield shopping malls in Europe, in addition to holding the exclusive external rights to two of the largest premium urban shopping malls in Europe: Westfield London and Westfield Stratford in the UK.
In February 2020, Ocean closed the acquisition of AdCityMedia, a Sweden-based premium out-of-home and digital screen tech operator focused on large format digital and high-end city centre locations across Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The combined entities of Visual Art and AdCityMedia, referred to as Ocean Nordics, will create the leading DOOH operator in the region.
Ultraleap is the new single brand formed after Leap Motion joined Ultrahaptics in 2019. The combination of the two leaders and a strong portfolio of research-based IP are now focused on facilitating engaging, natural, 3D (spatial) interaction between people and technology. This fast-growth company employs more than 150 people across UK, US and Asia. It has become the first to offer the full vertical stack of software and hardware to enable immersive virtual touch controls for the automotive, advertising, industrial, immersive entertainment and enterprise sectors. https://www.ultraleap.com/