A state-of-the-art new outdoor medium allowing advertisers to show three-dimensional images is due to launch in London and Vienna in spring next year.

The new installations – developed by German firm Tholos Systems – will comprise a cylindrical screen that can transmit and receive live images and sound via a broadband TV connection.

They will feature news, entertainment and tourist information, and allow a passer-by in one city to chat to a life-size image of somebody in another. Around 13% of airtime will be devoted to advertising.

The 360-degree screen will produce the effect of a three-dimensional image, presenting new opportunities for advertisers. Tholos believes the technology will appeal to marketers launching pan-European campaigns.

Once the first two cylinders are in place, the system will be extended to a further fourteen European cities by 2008. The plan is then to move into North America and Asia.

The cylinders cost around €2 million ($2.3m; €1.4m) to build. Once in place, sponsorship and advertising will cover running costs.

Data sourced from: Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff