Once the vision of sci-fi films such as Minority Report, consumers are being subject to personalised adverts as they walk past certain areas.
Global bank HSBC is said to be using Bluetooth systems at its Canary Wharf and Regent Street branches in London to send a simple but very localised mailing campaign to passers-by.
Known as proximity advertising, people going by the bank will get a message sent to their phone advertising HSBC’s cash Isa. The first screen gave messages about the benefits of financial products before ending with a number to text for a call back, the Mail on Sunday reports.
By having a Bluetooth server, the bank can scan for phones receptive to it and ask owners if they wish to receive a message and adds that if rejected once, the server knows not to ask again.
However, initial reception was wary as people were afraid it could be a virus or spam, while others fear it could spark a trend in which many other stores do the same, swamping them with messages.