Ever notice how many cool things there are on the Internet that have little or no practical value?

LinkedIn now has a new application associated with it — The Hiscox Reactor — that fits squarely into this category.  For those who haven’t yet discovered it, you click on the link you’ll find here and then, once you give the application permission to access your LinkedIn information (your call, but I trusted it), the tool creates and shows you a personalized video clip about your life, background, and business accomplishments.  It’s pretty wild.  And again, seems to have no practical use, outside of the entertainment factor and the fact that the insurance company that created it is hoping it will impress you enough to give their company some useful brand recognition.

So if you’ve got a few minutes to kill, I’d encourage you to check it out.  It will give you a sneak preview of the world to come, since this application exemplifies an emerging form of hyper-customized marketing called “personalized video” that is just starting to gain steam and seems likely to be the next big thing in terms of marketing technology.  For the average person who tends to surf the Internet pretty regularly, you’ll likely start seeing commercials and videos where your name and other information will appear seamlessly within the advertisement — as if a Hollywood director had been rummaging through your life history in order to create a commercial exclusively for you as the target audience.  Creepy, yes, but also pretty amazing from a technological standpoint.  Numerous startups are already getting funded, focusing on this new advertising approach, and you can read more about the concept in an Inc. Magazine article you’ll find here, if interested.

Once you’ve given the Hiscox Reactor a try, don’t miss the fact that there are six different industry “themes” you can choose from on the final screen, once you’ve run the application the very first time.  These options allow you to go back and see alternative videos that focus on your career from the standpoint of other industries like “IT/Tech” or “Creative” or “Entrepreneur” where you’ll see the animation — and the emphasis — change a bit.

Again, pretty pointless, but I’ll confess the “cool” factor held my attention the whole time!