If you come to China, especially to tier-1 cities like Shanghai, Beijing etc, you need make sure you are ready for one thing: Outdoor Advertisement (or Outdoor Media if it sounds more friendly) which is everywhere, elevator, taxi, bus, parking lots, subway etc as well as those huge outdoor LCD displays. Thanks to FocusMedia which actually invented this market by delivering advertisements using LCD televisions located at the elevator waiting area of business and commercial buildings, the market is still hot nowadays; However, we have to say, being overwhelmed by the ads is sometime truly annoying.

TouchMedia, founded in 2003, the leading media network offering a mix of interactive and advertising-based content to passengers in Chinese cities’ taxis, held a party together with MobileMonday Shanghai. The invitation letter clearly revealed company’s new mission:

With an average taxi ride at 18 to 21 minutes, and a captive audience of high income consumers, TouchMedia is now starting to capitalize on higher mobile awareness and usage, and to leverage mobile networks and location-based services, like maps and coupons, to engage, interact and entertain passengers even further.

According this report which explains how the new TouchMedia will work by the opening of Shanghai World Expo 2010:

After touching the Map Icon button, a map of Shanghai appears on the screen. Passengers can easily navigate left, right, up and down, or zoom in and out. A display on the right side of the screen also lets them select from seven categories of destination: tourist attractions, shopping areas, hotels, entertainment, restaurants, government offices, and major transportation. The map has nearly 100 important landmarks in total, many with photographs for even greater convenience.

Brilliant idea indeed and I am sure it could be useful for people who are not familiar with Shanghai. And it could be even more interesting if it can push the (real-time) information of local area where the taxi is located when it is on-the-go. It sounds like, suddenly, TouchMedia has evolved from an outdoor media company to a potential platform of Ubiquitous Computing in China. We will see.

TouchMedia was reported to be suspended by government, but now it is quite clear, as a senior guy from TouchMedia said: I don’t think that will happen, as now we are working closely with government to bring convenience to citizen.

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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