Clear Channel starts NFC ad panel rollout across Britain

nfc-ad-panelsClear Channel has started rolling out interactive ad panels featuring NFC technology and QR codes to numerous locations across the UK.

A total of 10,000 interactive panels will be installed at bus stops and other roadside locations, NFC World reports. The company says the rollout will be focused on high streets and city centres, reaching over 80 percent of adults every four weeks.

“This landmark platform gives advertisers the opportunity to deepen their interaction with consumers by offering interactive content, social media integration and real-time content updates, while consumers can use their smartphones to download vouchers and promotions,” Clear Channel said. “The platform will be supported by a full reporting network to help brands effectively track responses”.

The company behind the panels, Eagle Eye Technology, claims the NFC enabled LD6 units are the UK’s first permanent NFC advertising units. The technology offers plenty of engagement opportunities to both advertisers and consumers. Clear Channel views smart ad panels as a natural extension of its roadside marketing portfolio.

Although the panels feature both QR codes and NFC, the latter is slowly making QR codes look obsolete. As it can be used for two way communication and mobile payments, NFC has a lot more potential than passive QR codes, although it might be somewhat less practical in certain scenarios. Another problem is NFC adoption, or lack thereof. Many phones do not feature NFC support, including heavyweights like Apple’s iPhone.

What’s more, plenty of users who have NFC enabled phones don’t seem too interested in the  technology. Droid Life recently ran a poll of 7,500 readers – 53 percent of the respondents said they don’t use NFC, while 14 percent can’t use it since their phone doesn’t support it. Only 33 percent said they used NFC.

However, the fast paced mobile industry is usually quick to embrace new technologies, so it might not be long before the vast majority of mobile users start putting their NFC chips to good use.

Although they are not exclusively NFC-based, mobile payments are already starting to attract an increasing number of consumers. A recent survey out of America claims mobile payments will hit the $1 trillion mark within just two years.