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CrowdOptic And LBMA Announce Research Partnership To Advance Focus-Aware Mobility

SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  CrowdOptic, a maker of crowd-powered mobile applications for live events, and the Location Based Marketing Association (The LBMA) have joined forces to develop and promote new focus-aware mobile technology for fans at live events.  

Part of the LBMA's mandate is to foster research, innovation and pilot projects that push the boundaries of place-based marketing. Through this initiative, we've partnered with several top tier global brands carefully selected from among LBMA's large network of marketing affiliates to introduce the new technology to consumers.  The technology will be introduced in a series of test launches at major entertainment events throughout the summer, before making it widely to marketers in the fall. 

Focus awareness is a ground-shifting new capability which combines traditional GPS-location awareness with data on where mobile users are aiming their smartphones.  Focus-based technology enables new kinds of apps in which users aim their phones to engage with one another as they watch events simultaneously — for example to connect, chat or vote on the shared subject of focus.  Focus-awareness also allows marketers to chart the shifting momentum in crowds.

The partnership comes as demand grows among LBMA's network for mechanisms to enhance context-awareness in mobile.  Marketers want to know how many phones are engaged with their apps as events are happening (heat), who those users are, where they are looking and how the crowd's engagement is dynamically changing moment to moment – all of which are capabilities unique to CrowdOptic's technology.

"Our vision of the future is new apps that dynamically adapt based on knowing what activities people in a crowd are watching and engaging in, as well as joining people with shared interests together, right there in the moment," said Asif Khan, Founder and President of LBMA.

Said Brent Iadarola, Global Research Director of Mobile & Wireless Communications at Frost & Sullivan: "Focus is an emerging mobile category that will play a significant role in the next generation of location services.  In contrast to augmented reality, which combines location and mobile Internet search to provide information on landmarks in  static environments, focus based services enable the tracking and tagging of objects (or individuals) in  moving or dynamic environments.  By enabling mobile users to point their phones at moving objects or people to access real-time information about their subject of interest, this area of technology in which CrowdOptic is a pioneer clearly presents some very unique and lucrative avenues for hyper-targeted marketing promotions, advertising, and mobile coupons."

CrowdOptic is currently in use around the world in apps which enable users to "aim their phone" to act or interact – whether to discuss, report or discover other people based on their shared focus.  The company powers a range of applications which vary from finding friends in a crowd, to aiming a phone to vote, to aiming to alternate views of a live broadcast, to aiming to connect with athletes and celebrities at live events.  The technology works both through an app and anytime without an app, by historically mining the standard metadata tags embedded in shared photo images. The mechanisms used to acquire context beyond location include continuous streams of GPS, compass and triangulation algorithms illuminating common points of focus between mobile users.  

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