AURA sees BlueSkies for BlueZones

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: AURA Interactive, who currently have 250 Bluetooth booths throughout Australia, is looking to expand both domestically and internationally. The booths, known as BlueZones, allow mobile phone users to interact with specifically designed content at specific locations.

At is stands, AURA has a lucrative partnership with the Hoyts cinema chain, allowing film buffs to download trailers, news and vouchers whilst standing in the cinema foyer. According to AURA sales and marketing director Adam Dunne, this is very popular with cinema-goers. “When we started, we had a response rate of around 25%, now it is 60% – it’s been very exciting to watch it grow,” said Dunne.

BlueZones a dedicated stands placed in strategic locations, chosen by their proximity people experience “dwell time”. This is the time we spend standing in queues, waiting for a movie to start or on the train to work. A person looking to kill some time will accept the BlueZones invitation and then gain access to a range of content related to where they are.

Originally based primarily in shopping centres and cinemas, AURA has expanded into more inventive locales, such as Randwick Racecourse, allowing punters to access race information, the latest tips and fashions in the field news.

The next step nationally for AURA will be transport, although Dunne admits the logistics of such a step are daunting.

“We have to decide whether to set up on the bus or train, or at the station. If it’s the first, we need to establish live networking connections on the bus or train, so that we can remain connected even while travelling,” said Dunne.

As for establishing BlueZones beyond these shores, Dunne announced that AURA was currently exploring and experimenting in two international markets, with more planned. AURA hope to have BlueZones up and interacting in Singapore by the end of 2008, while a move into selected US cities is also well under way.

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