High-tech ads for the Boston Pops holiday concerts are pleasantly surprising pedestrians with music that can only they can hear.  The experience is made possible by Holosonics’ Audio Spotlight, which transmits sound to a specific spot no wider than a flashlight’s beam. In this case, the music is only audible from directly in front of a poster for the same concert series.

The installation is in a node of a well-used skybridge to Boston’s Copley Place mixed-use complex of shopping, hotels and offices. Debora Konig, Copley Place’s area marketing director, said using traditional speakers would risk annoying nearby employees and customers. “We were excited to be able to deliver the Boston Pops holiday recordings throughout a specific area of our mall, without bleeding into the surrounding shops and areas,” she said. “The Audio Spotlight allowed us to incorporate an active ad campaign and captivate bridge pedestrians with sound.”

Even though Holosonics’ technology is cool, comparisons to the ads in Minority Report are inevitable. But Bob Deininger, media director at marketing firm NorBella, said his company’s use of the musical sounds of the Boston Pops orchestra cut through the clutter and drew attention to the promotional sign, as pedestrians paused to listen.

The Boston Pops 2011 Holiday Series began on Dec. 7, and runs until Dec. 24.

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Photo by Stu Rosner shows a section of the Boston Pops Orchestra, used with permission