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A prototype developed by a Seattle-area tech startup called Footmarks uses Bluetooth LE (low-energy) technology to let advertisers transmit data from outdoor advertisements to consumer devices — such as smartphones in cars whizzing by billboards on the highway.

Preston Reed

The idea is to give those outdoor advertisers a much better sense for who is viewing their ads at any given moment, by aggregating the data from consumers who opt in to the program by installing an app on their phone.

Those consumers, in turn, will receive information about the ads and also incentives such as coupons and other promotions from the participating advertisers. The company says the link can be established at up to 400 feet, and drivers can look at the app after they’ve stopped driving to view the stored information.

It’s called SmartConnect, and it’s one of the emerging technologies being shown by the startup this week at the Consumer Electronics Show down in Las Vegas. Footmarks, based in Redmond, is exhibiting in the “Eureka Park” section of the show dedicated to emerging technologies and startups.

Footmarks, which has been bootstrapped so far, is exhibiting at the show to gauge reaction to its upcoming products and make connections with potential customers, partners and investors.

“Its going to allow us to see the reaction from people and really just gather information,” said CEO Preston Reed, who co-founded the company with Boeing and Washington State University computer science alums Casey and Skylar Graika.

SmartConnect uses dedicated tags that transmit the data. The company has patents pending on its technology.

The company is also showing its Tap Pad technology, which uses Near Field Communication and QR codes to transmit data in retail and other business settings. Footmarks is also developing an underlying social network to help consumers share information such as recommended service providers.

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