In Diversen on 20/03/2010 at 10:36

Every Minute Counts, Mar 27th, 2010

In a world of advertising you look at the ads, but soon, they’ll be watching you. It’s the future imagined in the 2002 movie “Minority Report”, cameras capture and read Tom Cruise’s face, and customized ads for his character pop up. That future is now. This billboard sees you, scans your face then pulls up an ad you’ll like.

“Here’s how this works. We walk to the ad, a camera captures your image, a computer figures out if you are a man or a woman and your age, meanwhile an age and gender specific ad rolls. This shows that I’m in my 30s and I may like seasonal pasta. The computer then determines how interested you are, how long you stayed, that data is then recorded for the company.”

NEC engineer Joko Amagai says the facial recognition technology is accurate to within ten years of your actual age. And the next-gen system they’re testing out is even more age accurate. “This is a new age of advertising,”, says Amagai, “we can learn something we never knew for marketing.” The new ads gives real-time reactions to screen signs, so marketing can be more targeted and more effective.

And this retail event in Tokyo is capturing world wide interest. Art Frickus is a consultant visiting from Holland. “I believe more and more want communication, and all your messages must be relevant. So that’s why I believe it’s time to think technology.” “Do you feel a little uneasy though? That is …” “No.”

Frickus brushed off privacy concerns and fears that this is a Big Brother. NEC, which so far only tests its digital ads in Japan, says signs warn passers-by they’re on camera, and images are not saved in the database. In the post 9-11 world, security cameras are everywhere on public streets and malls; facial recognition technology used by governments, even casinos. NEC believes the use of this technology in advertising is just a next step, and will soon be common.

“Within two to three years ten percent of the ads will be like this. ” “And ten percent of the digital signage.” “Of digital signage will be like this. ”

That’s a global prediction. NEC says testing begins in the US this spring. Just weeks away, to be arrival, of the future. Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.


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