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Accenture Gets Inspiration From 'Minority Report'

Giant Touch Screen at Chicago Airport Delivers News, Weather

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Starting today air travelers passing through Chicago's O'Hare Airport terminal 3 will be able to impersonate Tom Cruise's character from "Minority Report" and use their hands to manipulate content -- weather, news, Tiger Woods' greatest putts -- on a giant 10-by-7-foot screen.
Accenture's new billboards operate like gigantic interactive computer screens.
Accenture's new billboards operate like gigantic interactive computer screens.

The interactive news screen, which will soon be unveiled at New York's Kennedy airport as well, comes via Accenture (hence, the Tiger Woods connection) and the company is lauding it not only as revolutionary for out-of-home advertising, but also for in-office collaboration. And its resemblance to the movie, set in the year 2054, is no coincidence.

Dale Herigstad, executive creative director and co-founder of Schematic, and independent interactive agency, consulted on both the movie and the Accenture project. The whole idea, he said, is moving past the idea that TVs are furniture. "Video," he said, "is wallpaper and you can interact with it as screens are getting better and cheaper."

Wide audience
The Schematic team worked with Accenture Technology Labs on the screen's interface -- not only what the experience looks and feels like for a consumer interacting with the screen, but also what it looks like to the hundreds of travelers passing by it at any given moment. The primary purpose, at least for Accenture, is to reach high-level business executive who may not be the ones interacting with the sign but will certainly see it.

While airports are often the breeding ground for new interactive out-of-home technologies, Accenture believes its wall-size screens could evolve into a network that delivers advertising, information and entertainment in other public places, such as malls. It also suggests that future airport iterations could instantly translate content to foreign languages as well, to accommodate international travelers.

50 years in the future
"Minority Report" was set 50 years into the future, but more and more it feels like that future is now. Many of the techniques depicted are seemingly closer to fruition. Marketers are already using electronic readers, behavioral/contextual advertising and the smart-recommendation engines of Amazon ilk that can predict what you might want before you know you want it. Then there's Bluetooth-enabled out-of-home advertising that can push specific localized messages to a smart phone, much like the Gap's messages in the film that try to get Cruise's character to come in and buy a new pair of khakis.
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