DNP Launches Smart Phone-Based Campaign Information Distribution Service

Uses audio-carried digital watermarking

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has launched a service allowing consumers to view information on events and receive sales coupons with their smart phones, by obtaining digital watermarks embedded into audio, such as in-store broadcasts. Yunika Corporation has adopted this newly offered service at Yunika Vision, a series of giant outdoor screens located at the East exit of Shinjuku Railway Station in the west of Tokyo.

[Background to Service Development]

DNP has offered a digital watermark service since 2011. Existing services operate by implanting a watermark, undetectable to the human eye, into print data, such as photographs in magazines and pamphlets, or illustrations. When consumers photo the printed materials, the relevant information embedded in the printed material is delivered to their smart phones. To date, more than 50 companies, such as publishers, manufacturers and financial institutions have adopted this service.

In recent years, the spotlight has been on marketing techniques, such as Online-to-Offline (O2O) and Omni-channel services that promote sales by forging links between various points of contact between companies and consumers. DNP has applied a technology that recognizes digital watermarks embedded in not just printed materials, but also sound source data, and has developed a service that guides audio, such as TV, radio, in-store broadcasts and digital signage to digital contents. DNP will form links between various information media, and offer multi-faceted support for communication between companies and consumers.

[Audio-based Digital Watermark]

A digital watermark is embedded into sound source data such as digital signage or in-store broadcasts. When consumers start up dedicated applications, their smart phones sense the sound, and obtain the audio-watermark embedded in the sound source data. By doing so, consumers can view a variety of relevant data on their smart phones.

The features of the new service are as follows;

  • As the digital watermark cannot be detected by the human ear, there is virtually no discernible difference between ordinary sound data and that embedded with the digital watermark.
  • The digital watermark does not use a high frequency. As a result, there is no need to prepare a high frequency speaker, and the service can be used with existing speakers.
  • By altering the embedded information on a piece-by-piece basis even within a single musical tune, it is also possible to distribute multiple data.
  • Data can be distributed to numerous consumers on a simultaneous basis as long as they are within sound range.
  • By obtaining the access log, it is possible to use the contents to improve marketing policies.

[Yunika Vision]

The newly developed service has been adopted by Yunika Corporation for use at Yunika Vision, a series of giant outdoor screens in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo. Consumers can download the free dedicated smart phone application VISION a. When their phones senses music flowing on Yunika Vision, it is possible to access promotional sites, and apply for perks and presents such as, premier goods offered by the performing artiste, event, or movie tickets.

VISION a is compatible with iOS and Android OS. The service will commence from December 15.

[Future Developments]

DNP plans to distribute an application that is compatible with both print-based image watermarks and audio-watermarks from January 2015.

The Company will offer audio-watermark-based information distribution services to broadcasting-related, retail and manufacturing companies, aiming for total sales of 500 million yen in the three year period to FY 2016.

* This new services utilizes digital watermark services from Tokyo, Japan-based MONIC Corp, and Digimarc Corporation, of Beaverton, OR.
* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.