The world's oldest advertising medium is embracing one of its newest technologies, and the result - if the industry can pull it off - could spark a marketing revolution. The out-of-home sector held its gaze on a rather modest-looking piece of tech this week; a small cube enabled with Bluetooth, known simply as a beacon.

A beacon is able to tell a smartphone exactly where it is, allowing for an app to act upon this information in order to send a message that's relevant to time and place. The most obvious applications to date have been to place beacons in retail stores, sports stadiums and, more recently, on transport networks.

The idea is that consumer engagement can be highly tailored, to encourage and rewarded through mobile interaction. So, for example, a drinks brand could offer a deal via a beacon-to-smartphone interaction whilst at a football match, or an app could reward a consumer with a special offer when they approach a nearby store. To add to the beacon offering, very recently Google has launched its own 'proximity tech'. Google's Nearby gives real-world objects their own URL - from a bus shelter to a parking meter - allowing for simple interactions to be made without the requirement for the end consumer have have a brand app already installed.

This has got the out-of-home sector excited. So much so, that a host of OOH businesses - including Primesight, Airport Media, Exterion, Ubiquitous and Mobile Media - have launched Presenz, a dedicated 'beacon network' to help adopt the tech and accelerate the opportunities for clients. "We want to better understand the opportunities that beacons create for our advertisers and that opportunity is being realised now," says Mungo Knott, marketing and insight director, Primesight. "There are around 2,000 beacons already being incorporated into out-of-home facilities and environments across the UK - and given the sector already reaches 98% of the population, we see out-of-home as a natural fit for their proliferation."