In-car Adverts: The Future is Now?

Is our relationship with Siri getting a little too serious?

The chatter on the Web seems to overwhelmingly fall against BMW’s research into incorporating semantic advertising, or in-car adverts, through its navigation software, iDrive. As driver carries on his or her merry way, the idea goes, the display would broadcast relevant ads that relay information about nearby services or businesses.

This so-called “Virtual Marketplace of the Future” promises to make BMW drivers enjoy more control of the road. If you’re hankering for, say, a bite of crepe suzette and you’re driving through an unfamiliar area, well, now there’s an app for that conveniently at hand.

In the age of Wikileaks and growing public furor surrounding our increasingly diminishing sphere of privacy, it’s no small wonder that there are those who aren’t exactly left beaming about this novel beemer technology. Manufacturers insist the Virtual Marketplace comes as an add-on installed at the request of the buyer, but who exactly are the consumers who would chose to opt-in?

Not so far back, the journey and more often than not, the disorientation was part and parcel of owning a car. For the ardent motorist, on-board navigation and safety sensors and the like seem to rob the quintessential joy of roaming Americana with purple mountains majesty and present instead a more sanitized version of the experience. I can see the wires and cables flailing away now a la The Matrix as we plug into yet another piece of technology to make our lives that much more…numb.

“For the ardent motorist, on-board navigation
and safety sensors and the like seem to rob
the quintessential joy of roaming Americana”

But, there are those who disagree, claiming that the Virtual Marketplace makes way for even more progress to come. As far as I’m concerned, you can wake me when they’re rolling out hovercars.

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