This week, tens of thousands of basketball fans at Nokia Stadium in Tel Aviv will have the opportunity to participate in a mass sports trivia game run right on the scoreboard, answering sports questions – with the winners getting 15 minutes (or at least 15 seconds) of fame, as their Facebook profile photos appear for all to see, as well as getting t-shirts, towels, and other “tchockes”.
Users will participate by using a special app that will connect them to the scoreboard, where the questions will appear.
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The technology to run such events has been around for a couple of years, but putting together the resources needed to run a successful game where a large crowd interacts with a scoreboard or other large digital sign has usually been more trouble, and more expensive, than it’s worth, said Adir Zimerman, CEO and co-founder of Screemo. The technology being developed by his company, said Zimerman, will enable event sponsors of all kinds to quickly set up mass participatory events for mobile and smartphone users.
“Our platform is the first that allows businesses to implement mobile screens interactive apps within days, and in many cases without the help of developers,” Zimerman said of the menu-driven system that interfaces with users and with the central screen.
“It could be a scoreboard, or a digital sign outside a store,” Zimerman said. “Many businesses have wanted to do this for a long time, but it’s just been too expensive and time-consuming, since until now each event has required writing an application from scratch.”
Putting digital signage on the map
Screemo takes care of much of the back-end work that goes into the applications, and guides users in easily, quickly, and inexpensively setting up their mass event.
There’s no doubt that interactive digital signage is going to be very big, said Zimerman, citing a test case that the industry has taken as a signal of things to come — the McDonald’s Pong event in Sweden, where in June 2011 the fast food giant ran an interactive game that pitted players against each other, with the action displayed on a giant billboard. Passerby logged into an app developed by McDonald’s, and winners were awarded coupons for free food items. The kicker in that event, said Zimmerman, was the over-30 percent redemption rate for those coupons, considered a huge advertising coup.