Bluetooth is defined by Wikipedia as is an industrial specification for wireless personal area networks (PANs). Bluetooth provides a way to connect and exchange information between devices such as mobile phones, laptops, PCs, printers, digital cameras and video game consoles via a secure, globally unlicensed short-range radio frequency.
BlueCasting, as this application is called, opens the door for a wide array of outdoor, point-of-purchase, and mobile marketing opportunities. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched a trial of its BlueCasting system at Amsterdam Airport. Travelers who are within range of the Bluetooth transmitter automatically receive messages from KLM, but only if they have activated the Bluetooth function on their electronic devices. Bluecasting software detects the users handset, and delivers the appropriate content to that person directly. Most Bluecasting stations have a range of about 100 meters. Individuals passing by are alerted with a message and are asked if they would like to accept the content onto their handsets. Land Rover recently conducted a Bluecasting campaign in Manhattan. The London underground system now features Bluecasting-enabled signage and BMW is using BlueCasting to deliver video clips showing off its Z4 Coupé. From Coldplay to Go-Tan (an Asian supermarket in Holland), advertisers are being drawn to a new way to talk to their consumers.
There are still many dissenting voices around the use of Bluetooth as a marketing vector. This could reopen the whole permission marketing debate again. But the channel, if used correctly (as responsible marketers will) offers many truly innovative ways of connecting advertisers with consumers.