RealTime IT News

Thinking Media's ActiveAds System Patented

Online ad agency The Thinking Media Corp. in New York City said it won a U.S. patent for the technique that gives its ActiveAds technology its capability for advanced tracking and reporting.

ActiveAds is a system of transaction-capable interactive banners featuring reporting, serving, and e-commerce functions.

"We know we have something unique in ActiveAds," said Owen Davis, Thinking Media's managing director. "We've spent the last year and a half hammering ActiveAds into a superior system. Winning the patent distinguishes us from our competitors, and gives us instant credibility with potential clients, partners and investors."

ActiveAds relies upon a Java-based 5kb "player" that loads when a banner is accessed by a Web browser, the company said. The player then coordinates delivery over the Internet of other Java components as needed to give the banner such capabilities as secure credit card transactions, multimedia, and dynamic content.

ActiveTrack, the reporting side of ActiveAds, uses the same technique to consolidate information on activities of an ActiveAds banner, and then report back to a central database, which makes information on a campaign's advertisements available in real-time. ActiveTrack will report on banners that rely on HTML as well as Java.

ActiveTrack also records ads delivered from proxy servers.

The other elements of the system are Sonata, a development kit for creating banners; ActiveTime for serving dynamic content; and ActiveCommerce, a back- end for electronic commerce.

"The market is ripening," said Don Westrich, Thinking Media's director of business development. "ActiveAds is the only Java system that's accepted on most major sites. We're compatible with other serving and tracking systems. We're the only system that covers development, tracking, serving and E-commerce. And Java will let us move onto new Internet devices like set-top boxes."

Thinking Media said it created the first-ever HTML interactive banner in 1996.