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July 02, 2009

Marketers prepare to conquer water with Japan's wave-vertising

Posted on Thu Jul 2 2009

WavePoolPic copy

Marketing messages, as we know, have permeated both land and sky. But water? Less so. It's tough to get a body of water to behave itself. Or at least, it has been.
  Scientists at Japan's Akishima Laboratories have developed a technology that allows programmers to literally "write" messages on the surface of water. Its experimental device, which appeared stateside at the Museum of Modern Art last year, is called AMOEBA (Advanced Multiple Organized Experimental Basin). It's a cylindrical tub about 12 inches deep and a little over five feet in diameter. Fitted along the pool's rim are fifty trigger-type units equipped with plungers that agitate the water's surface. Programmed in unison, the plungers can create almost any configuration of ocean wave. (The device was originally developed to test hull performance on ship models.) But an enterprising student at the lab discovered that when the correct wave frequencies intersect, the water will also support messages.
  Such as ... advertising messages? Quite possibly. Not only is AMOEBA capable of producing the entire Roman alphabet on the water's surface, it can conjure a number of symbols, too. Akishima's directors hope to sell the device for use in amusement parks and hotels to enhance existing decorative fountain technology. How does that Biblical saying go? Cast thy brand upon the water?

—Posted by Robert Klara

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