Mobile antivirus software firm Bluepoint Security is taking ad blocking to the next level with a router-like appliance that can block ads on any device connected to it via wifi including computers, tablets, smartphones and even streaming services like Apple TV.
Called AdTrap, the $135 device is the fruit of a successful Kickstarter project launched in December 2012 that raised $213,000 from 1,800 backers in 30 days.
Now, almost nine months since the end of that campaign, Bluepoint is gearing up to move beyond direct sales to work with distributors like Grand St., the new tech gadget commerce curator and extending the service to include devices on cellular networks with AdTrap Anywhere.
"It was something we promised to tackle in the Kickstarter campaign if we hit the $200,000 mark, which we did," said Bluepoint CTO, Chad Russell. "All a user needs to do is sync their phone with their AdTrap at home."
The product description on Grand St. includes a handy gif of what NYTimes.com looks like before and after AdTrap.
AdTrap was created from the ground up to be a catch-all filter for internet advertising; your computers, phones, gaming consoles, and video-streaming devices are instantly liberated from the distraction of video, text, and banner advertising. By sitting between your internet connection and router, AdTrap acts as a front-line defense against any interruptions in your pages or videos, often resulting in webpages that organically reorganize themselves around the gaps where the ads would have been and where most other ad-blocking software or plugins fall flat.
Most ad blockers work as external software or browser plug ins meaning the effect is limited to either the computer on which it's been installed, or the specific browser used. Using hardware like this essentially intercepts the Internet feed and works its magic before the content reaches your devices.
Ad-block anything is a scary concept for marketers, particularly a set-it-and-forget-it box for the home, but Bluepoint is planning to go out and offer partnerships with advertisers whose ads get ensnared. Users of the box can already choose to allow ads from a particular website or ad network.
"We're working with publishers and advertisers exploring an option that would allow users to opt-in to select ads and actually get paid a little bit for it, Mr. Russell said. "It's about finding that delicate balance in turning that ad firehouse into a straw through an incentive system."
In effect, this type of collaboration would mean consumers seeing ads from only one network or publisher to the exclusion of all others. If it does gain traction among consumers, it could cause problems for the online ad business, with or without the opt-in system.
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