The pocket billboard that shows movies too

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 11, 2005

The pocket billboard that shows movies too

A new credit card-sized electronic 'pocket billboard' has been launched, providing a fresh and innovative way for consumers and businesses to be approached by advertisers. The card is a miniature multimedia device, including it's own power supply, colour screen, and joystick-pad.

According to its distributors, CardTek Inc. and CEO IQ, the rCard device provides companies with a whole new way of communicating with customers and prospects by putting high-quality streaming video, photographs and graphics about their products and services in the palm of the consumer's hands, and all for around US$25.

Self-contained The rCard, next to a standard laptop computerUnlike thumb-drive USB devices and business card CD-ROMs, the rCard is a complete interactive information vehicle that doesn't need a computer to operate, or indeed any technological skill on the part of the end user. The card's content is accessed via its built-in thumb-controlled navigation button.

According to CardTek, many industry experts have been predicting the arrival of such compact technology, but not for years yet because the miniaturisation of storage, display and battery technologies were expected to be more time consuming and costly. The card's designers simply brought together a screen, a wafer-thin battery, and up to one gigabyte of storage space.

What's inside? About the size and thickness of a credit card (2 x 3 inches), and weighing only two ounces, the rCard carries a full colour flat screen that's 1.875 inches square. The card's data can either be preloaded at the factory or via any standard PC USB port.

The battery - for a long time the biggest obstacle to a useful card - is the thickness of a postage stamp, and occupies the same surface area as the card itself. It can last for approximately 200 viewings (four hours) of continuous use. There is also an option to equip the card with a rechargeable battery which could then be charged using a simple docking device. The device can be programmed to power itself down when not in use, extending the battery's life for up to seven years.

Potential markets Although the card is still expensive compared to most other marketing vehicles, its applications are wide - in fact almost limitless. Initial markets for the device are expected to include high profit markets and high ticket value categories (for example, top-end computing equipment could be effectively promoted this way, or even financial and business consultancy services). Jet Parker, chief executive officer for CEO IQ, said: "This card can help businesses cut through the clutter of other advertising media and stand out from traditional promotional vehicles."

According to Parker, the Fortune 500 companies that have already seen the product are exploring ideas for using the card in consumer contests, showcasing new services, demonstrating new products, announcing trade show programmes, and even having the card serve as an updateable membership card.

Customisation The rCard's functions and features can be customised to the client's specifications before leaving the factory. Options include the colour and design of the hard plastic casing, the content pre-loaded onto the card, and the battery type. A short video demonstrating the rCard in use can be viewed at CEO IQ's web site (under 'tools') - click here.

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