This ad brought to you via Bluetooth

This ad brought to you via Bluetooth

Summary: I spoke to Tiffany Burns from iSign Media Corp at a CES party last night which offers some interesting if not controversial technology.  This technology will send you spa, I mean advertisements to you via Bluetooth technology.

TOPICS: Wi-Fi, Networking

I spoke to Tiffany Burns from iSign Media Corp at a CES party last night which offers some interesting if not controversial technology.  This technology will send you spa, I mean advertisements to you via Bluetooth technology.  Ms. Burns touted the fact that these ads were free since they weren't eating up any cell phone time or racking up messaging charges, but my immediate reaction was what happens if the user doesn't want to see the ad.  Burns' responded that the user can simply hit no on the yes/no dialog but I asked what if the user doesn't even want to see these ads ever, not even the prompting.  The response was to turn off Bluetooth which didn't make me any more comfortable since people may not know or may not want to shut off Bluetooth on their cell phone.

Now I have my personal feelings about this technology but I want to hear what you have to say about this so I put up the following poll.  Please feel free to comment in the talkback section too.

[poll id=40]

Topics: Wi-Fi, Networking

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  • while I remain a proponent of Bluetooth ....

    ... I think this is a terrible idea! We do not need another source of SPAM. Just say no!
    • And so far everyone has said NO.

      • LOL.. yeah... all 104% of the voters said no.

        Hallowed are the Ori
        • Actually...

          ...this time, I got No...97% and Yes...3%.
  • Apparently MORE than EVERYONE!

    I see that 105% of the respondents said "NO". I wonder how that happened??
    • A matter of refreshing properly.

      I think what happens is that the vote is submitted without the total number of voters being updated before the screen refreshes. That would cause the appearance of Over 100+

      Apparently some moron voted against the majority. Can we lynch them?
  • RE: This ad brought to you by Bluetooth

    This technology will send...advertisements to you via Bluetooth technology.
    ...if the user doesn???t even want...these ads,...the response was to turn off Bluetooth...

    It's a frightfully small step from having that ads pop up on cell phones (and probably PDA's and laptops, I presume) to having audio spam running through users' Bluetooth headsets.

    Stop it now before it gets out of hand!
  • Quick question

    I assume that this is a non-issue, but would this system keep spamming me if I stood nearby? Like in a local coffee shop?

    If I have to pass one of these iSign enabled stores several times a day, would I be getting continuous ads? Or would it remember my cell-phone for a certain time period? And does that concern anyone else?

    Then it could occur that several stores on a busy street would have these. All bluetooth enabled phones would get spammed simultaneously?

    No matter how I see this, it's disturbing.
    • Good questions, it is disturbing

      I don't think there is any regulation for this sort of thing, so good questions.
      • But there is regulation

        Concerning cell phone use while driving which these people are very aware makes turning bluetooth off on your phone a non starter...
        Johnny Vegas
      • AFAIK

        This is forbidden in the Netherlands, and probably in most of the EU. Spam is spam, the idea is pretty old.

        The person stating that it's not costing anything is btw wrong, it costs people precious battery time.
  • Well it appears @ least 2 people...

    do not care whether they get spammed or not
    • I'll bet one of them was Tiffany Burns

      • But she can just turn Bluetooth off

        We can also just cancel our email accounts or turn off our televisions.

        We choose not to. Ads in Magazines and Television at the least provide content to people so that they have a reason to see them. Web pages have the same matter.

        Unsolicited ads such as this or spam are simply uncalled for. This is the same reason I rid myself of my phone.
  • You can do even more

    If you extend the range enough you can actually also target car navigation systems equipped with bluetooth, as they also use bluetooth to find them in parked cars. The screen is even bigger than the average screen.

    As an aside, you can also just set you're bluetooth visibility to connected devices, that would solve most of the problems.
    • My New Car

      I have a new 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer with all the fancy gadgets including the GPS/Navigational system.

      I also have really good insurance.

      The first ad I get in MY car, I will quickly and immediately send my vehicle through their front door.
  • RE: This ad brought to you by Bluetooth

    I PAY for my cellphone service. My time is worth
    something too. I do not want to waste it having ads in
    my face.
    The same goes for the web-sites that pop an ad in
    your face. I always inform the webmaster that if these
    ads continue I will no longer visit their web-site.
    While I am on the rant, busy flash ads are distracting
    and annoying. I always tell the webmaster this and if
    they continue then the site is no longer on my daily
    reading list.
    Let us all complain when something bothers us so that
    it is known and the people responsible can do
    something about it. After all why would you alienate
    someone who is a potential client?
  • Where's the FCC Broadcast Violation?

    Given that commercial (SIC) use of public airwaves are under FCC control, where's the DON'T CONTACT registration site? Ms Burns et al are just begging for litigation with this.
  • Just SPAM

    It is bad enough that you can prevent AD's showing up in your text messages for a charge and no way to stop them except turning off your text service no this GEM.....
  • Ok.. I'm confused...

    I've got muliple Bluetooth devices - a laptop, cell phone, a PDA and a bluetooth headset. ALL of these devices require pairing - that is, matching and configuring one device so it knows to communicate with the other.

    Once the pairing is done, the Bluetooth device no longer needs to be in "discoverable" or "discovery" mode. It no longer accepts requests from strange devices or other sources. In fact, my cell phone and my headset's discoverable period is only open for maybe 2 - 3 minutes at which it turns itself into regular operating mode.

    The ONE device I've got that has Bluetooth that's any different from the above would be my now "ancient" PDA. And the only thing that sets it apart is the fact that it's Discoverable mode doesn't automatically expire. If I turned Bluetooth on and left it in discovery mode, then, yes, I can see devices trying to communicate with it and attempt to connect. But I've got Bluetooth disabled on the PDA. All of the phone numbers I need regularly are already in my phone's memory. I can manually dial any others I store on my PDA.

    Furthermore, when you pair a device, it requires that you enter a password to make the connection work.

    So, given all that, what's the big problem? How exactly would one of these spam broadcasters even know that my phone is passing near them? When a BT device is not in discovery mode, it can't be "discovered" by another BT device. Nor is it open for communication with new devices.

    So it seems to me that for the VAST majority of people out there with BT enabled phones, this entire article is a non-starter. It's like sending a mission to the moon to harvest the 'green cheese' it's made from - an utter waste of time and resources.