Gimbal, the much-heralded contextual awareness platform developed by Qualcomm, has taken a big step from theory into reality after advertising giant Dentsu announced [PDF] it will use the technology in Japan in what is its first rollout.

The country was also the setting for the first trial of Gimbal — the technology that blogger Robert Scoble heralded as the beginning of mobile 3.0 — and now Dentsu, Recruit and their joint service Blogwatcher will put the technology into action as part of their ongoing marketing and communications activities.

On a basic level, Gimbal provides highly personalized user experiences on a smartphone, bringing together interest graphs, automation and a unique geo-fencing feature, which makes phones aware of physical locations around them. The technology allows devices to learn habits and activity from users over time, that’s fed back into the location technology to provide a powerful, personalized service.

Blogwatch, which manages and interprets behaviour on social media, will use the Gimbal API in its mobile apps to provide greater context for users. The company is building on a trial that concluded that users were three times more likely to click a mobile app notification when it used Gimbal’s context — supplied by location and user interests that are learned over time.

Indeed, it says that — from an advertising perspective — click through rates rose by more than 60 percent when offers where delivered through Gimbal’s geofencing technology.

A statement from Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies, explained how the company sees Gimbal developing in Japan and elsewhere:

“Regardless of device, culture or language, smartphone users are looking for compelling, tailored mobile experiences that can benefit them on a day-to-day basis. This successful first rollout in Japan – a country well recognized for its cutting-edge use of technology – demonstrates that the Gimbal solution can meaningfully impact the way app developers, businesses and brands reach end users.”

A new trial is due to start in China in January 2013, as the advertising giants begin to tap into the potential worldwide.

Here is more on the potential of the system:

Headline image via Kevork Djansezian/AFP/Getty Images