Israeli start-up MobileRL looks to cell phones to revolutionize the way companies track and analyze information consumption

News Ryan Hamrick 16:58, Dec 22 2009

MobileRL brings new tech designed to casually "eavesdrop" and ultimately improve end-user experience

Companies worldwide try tirelessly to retrieve as much information from consumers as they possibly can to see what works and what doesn't in regards to their advertising efforts. The problem these companies often face is getting consent from these users to monitor necessary consumption information to determine what products and services they buy and use. More often, however, the real obstacle is finding an effective way to gain solid, accurate information.

Enter Israel-based Mobile Research Labs (MobileRL). MobileRL was established two years ago by Aaron Weiss, Omri Halevi and others, who were later joined by Jacob Levy. Funded completely by its founders, MobileRL developed a new technology it believes is set to take the advertising, marketing and even the mobile world by storm.

The general concept behind this new tech is that a user downloads MobileRL's software to his or her mobile device, which essentially fires up the device's microphone at predetermined intervals and collects audio data. This encrypted data is then compared to radio and television broadcasts, without human intervention, to determine what said user was watching or listening to at a given point in time.

In regards to the inevitable question of privacy and talk of Big Brother-like conspiracies, MobileRL is adamant that this technology would be used with strict consent from each individual user, and that unless the collected data directly related to a recognized radio or television broadcast, it would be completely useless and indecipherable.

Although not widely available yet, the possibilities that MobileRL's solution presents to product and service providers the world over are undeniable. With a dynamic data collection tool like this, businesses worldwide could really drill down and cater their marketing strategies to individuals, rather than just groups and demographic segments. MobileRL even suggests a scenario where an individual could provide feedback regarding an advertisement he had seen, for example, and if the feedback was negative, that particular message or commercial would no longer be presented to him through that medium. Broadcast ratings is another example of a solid usage case -- MobileRL's technology could provide a far more accurate and widely accessible means of ratings data collection (for TV ratings, radio ratings, etc) compared to what is currently available to broadcasters.

MobileRL currently only has one customer, but is generating tremendous interest overseas among the companies it has been observing. We will be following this company's story closely and expect to see big things from them in 2010.

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