Vibrating train window to play ads through the skulls of tired commuters

A nightmarish vision straight out of The Space Merchants: a gadget that purportedly vibrates train windows at the right frequency to beam advertisements straight into your head by means of bone-conduction, should you tire and rest your head against them.

All the references to this point to one video posted by someone with no other videos in her or his account, and there's not much other detail (Adweek attributes it to BBDO Dusseldorf). I'm betting hoax and/or grad project-cum-design fiction, but in this topsy-turvy world, anything is possible. The comments on the YouTube video are even more internetrage than usual, and may be the most interesting thing about it.

The talking window

Notable Replies

  1. gweb says:

    I want to hack the crap out of this, to make it vibrate the words (post-magic-sunglasses) from They Live. CONSUME. OBEY.

  2. This technique(I share the skepticism about it actually having been deployed; but I'd be shocked if it weren't doable with a little engineering work) along with the advertising using the very-impressively-clever-and-equally-creepy directed audio technology seems like something that Team Abnormal Psych might want to vet, if only for liability reasons, before widespread deployment. I can't imagine that any of the conditions that included auditory hallucinations are improved by experiences-tantamount-to-auditory-hallucination being added to your environment.

    (Also, of course, just for the sake of society more broadly, anybody who dabbles in this sort of advertising should probably be hung, drawn, and quartered; but I'm not getting my hopes up.)

  3. It's like pop-up ads...for reality.

  4. It's not particularly new technology- Look up "Sound Bite Lollipops":

  5. Eh. While on the train, I get messages from God via the sunlight flickering through the bare branches of winter trees. The last one, in February, was "Enjoy every sandwich." Which I'd already heard, so it was kind of a waste.

Continue the discussion

6 more replies