Logo for Documobi, an ad tech company

Documobi – All Media Becoming Interactive?

09th August 2016

Some developments in tech make small and incremental changes to how we live, others can change the way we interact and communicate. Documobi could be one of the revolutionary ones – making it possible to interact with all media.


Pete Lancaster and his start-up team have developed a solution that allows you to take a picture of any ad, any label or greetings card and be served an engagement. The engagement will be controlled by the owner of the content, i.e. the manufacturer, advertiser or the person sending you the card. This is different from a service like Blippar that recognises an object and serves interesting information, recipes and online shopping, based on its own algorithms.


It all started with their patented service being added to greeting and gift cards. You could record a greeting, then the recipient could hold their camera up to their specially designed card and watch your video message. As their tech has evolved, Documobi has started working with marketers in need of solutions for labels and print ads.


The team based in Harrogate has worked continuously to develop the tech behind Documobi. They are now able to use their technology to recognise digital signage, and so TV seemed like the next logical step.


The experience for the marketer is straight forward – you simply upload the creative together with the URL to be served and you are good to go. Once users have started searching the ad, marketers will receive valuable data and offer real insight into your users.


The tech can be integrated white label into any app, so it could make it easy for users to be in the right app at the right time. Simply push the button for the camera within the app, and the app will do the rest for you.


There have been a few attempts at getting media interactive in the past, with Shazam being the biggest success story so far. I think Documobi has many things going for it. The great advantage is that you can already be in your favourite app when you want to check something out. Just get the camera set and get a snap before the ad is gone! Lots of people are actually worried about giving access to the microphone for this, as required by some apps, as they worry someone will be listening to what they are up to!


The big question is what it will take for the service to take off. There is a chicken and egg situation here – consumers won’t start using the service before it is integrated with their favourite apps and there is lots of content that is interactive. Marketers on their side won’t want to use a service before the usage is there.


My view is that Documobi probably is best placed approaching broadcasters and publishers directly, to get into their existing apps and become a part of the deals sold to advertisers and advertorials. They are currently doing a few tests with clients and I am curious to see the results.


Have a look a look for yourself how it works here


By Kristoffer Hammer, Head of Business Development, Clearcast Ltd