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Minority Report
System uses a camera to tailor ads to gender and age

One of the reasons that advertisers like to advertise on the internet is because they know exactly how many people their ads reach and know if the ads entice the surfer to click and buy. Ads that advertisers place in malls and on billboards lack the luxury of knowing who is looking at the ad.

Engineers form NEC in Japan have created a new advertising system for use in public areas like malls and airports that is remarkable similar to the advertising system that was in the Steven Spielberg film “Minority Report”. In the film, as Tom Cruise walks past holographic ads in a mall, they recognize him and use his name to offer things like a cold beer or a new car.

The system -- called the Next Generation Digital Signage Solution -- NEC has developed won’t know who the person walking by or viewing the ad is, but it will use a system that can determine the gender and age of a person within ten years. The age and gender data will be used to tailor the ads shown to the specific person watching in hopes that the ads are more effective.

Some critics are already complaining that NEC's system is an invasion of privacy. NEC maintains that people viewing the ads would remain anonymous and images of their face would be deleted. The NEC system features a small camera and a flat screen that captures an image of the person as they walk by. The longer the person views the ad, the more accurate the advertising is said to be for the person.

NEC's Takeshi Yamamoto said, "For digital signage that relies on generating revenue by selling advertising, there has always been a need for advertising agencies to know who is watching." He also states that several advertising companies are interested in the system already. The NEC system is expected to get a trial run in America later in 2010 and if the trial is successful, the technology will be used all around the world.



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yeah this is just what I wanted
By shin0bi272 on 3/11/2010 12:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
Because I want to be accosted by some friggin ads designed for me. How exactly do they know what I like? Are they going on demographics or is my personal info in some government database somewhere... maybe from that 7 page census form they want me to fill out... As if advertising wasnt annoying enough... now its going to know my name and my likes and dislikes and make me want to stab myself in the eyes and ears.




RE: yeah this is just what I wanted
By squezy on 3/11/2010 12:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
Read the article!!

quote:
won’t know who the person walking by or viewing the ad is


It will only be based on demographics


RE: yeah this is just what I wanted
By aharris on 3/11/2010 2:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
"Paranoia paranoia, everybody's comin' to get me" -
Flapole Sitta', Harvey Danger

I also love how you refer to advertising in this case as "it", as if it were some sentient being. C'mon brah, the Cylons haven't been invented yet!


By Omega215D on 3/12/2010 1:02:51 AM , Rating: 5
on 2012 the system known as AdNet became self aware and launched a torrent of ads crippling humanity...


RE: yeah this is just what I wanted
By alcalde on 3/11/2010 5:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
I wish it was that accurate. If ads really were targeted to things you're actually interested in, they wouldn't be annoying, would they? When Amazon or Netflix or whatever recommends something that you really are interested in, that's not a bad thing, is it? I'd have no problem if an uber-sign in the mall let me know as I walked past that my favorite singer has a new concert DVD coming out or my favorite author's last novel just hit paperback.


RE: yeah this is just what I wanted
By jimhsu on 3/15/2010 12:05:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I actually wouldn't mind, provided that private information doesn't leak out through the ads. If I was diagnosed with Alzheimers, or ADD, or something, I wouldn't want a "Ritalin: 30 day FREE Trial!" ad to pop up on the street.


By camylarde on 3/15/2010 6:06:53 AM , Rating: 3
Well the ads should then know that I DO am interested in sportscars but DON'T plan to buy any.

I DO am interested in computer hardware, but DON't plan to buy anything this year because i am doing fine with the rig from last year.

I DO am interested in formula 1 but DON'T want to buy any fan stuff because it is overpriced.

Thankyouverymuch i don't need ads. I can make my purchase based on reason and not on false marketing. Which is prevalent in ads.


$@!# yes
By piroroadkill on 3/11/2010 10:37:14 AM , Rating: 2
The future is coming!




RE: $@!# yes
By KingofL337 on 3/11/2010 10:42:03 AM , Rating: 3
Cause it's gonna be the future soon
And I won't always be this way
When the things that make me weak and strange get engineered away


RE: $@!# yes
By Mortando on 3/11/2010 5:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
I love you.
- Anonymous friend


RE: $@!# yes
By stirfry213 on 3/11/2010 12:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
The future will be better tomorrow...


RE: $@!# yes
By afkrotch on 3/11/2010 7:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
But tomorrow will be a better today.


It could be cool...or not
By AssBall on 3/11/2010 11:06:15 AM , Rating: 5
I can just see walking down the mall with my wife and it starts to advertise porn and condoms and sex toys while a bunch of old people and kids walk by.




RE: It could be cool...or not
By acase on 3/11/2010 11:34:10 AM , Rating: 5
Hopefully your wife isn't butch or else you may get some ads for the local gay night club or the GAP or something.


Critics?
By masamasa on 3/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: Critics?
By bigboxes on 3/12/2010 12:58:17 AM , Rating: 5
I will live in your world only if I can install adblock in my eyeballs.


RE: Critics?
By zodiacfml on 3/15/2010 7:59:00 AM , Rating: 2
No different than a person working to manually select an appropriate ad. Hmmm, if I could outsource that. :p

wait a minute, I could patent this! hehehe


How would this work in America...
By Hieyeck on 3/11/2010 12:22:12 PM , Rating: 1
...where women are fat, men have moobs, and kids are the size of adults.

</only-half-kidding>

How embarassing would it be for some fat woman to walk past and get ads on Fords and toolkits.




RE: How would this work in America...
By fleshconsumed on 3/11/2010 1:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe that will be a wake up call for her.

Of course more likely she'll just complain to the ad company for being insensitive.


By ebakke on 3/11/2010 2:50:31 PM , Rating: 3
If by "complain to" you mean "sue for obscene amounts of money and win because of our messed up legal system", then I agree.


This could be quite effective for certain products
By borowki2 on 3/11/2010 12:26:38 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know how accurately the computer can judge a person's age or even gender. What should be easy to determine is whether he is overweight. Imagine a fat person approaches an advertisement. It might be showing a supermodel in fashionable clothes. Suddenly it changes into an ad for a weight loss program. Or exercise machine. Or liposuction. Now imagine every single ad in the mall does this. What would the person think? "I'm not good enough to even look at beautiful people because I'm fat!" In this manner he'd be shamed into doing something about his weight.




By chagrinnin on 3/11/2010 1:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
Rrrriiiiight,...because shame sells,....sea shells at the she store. :P


By abel2 on 3/11/2010 2:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
More likely they'll be offended and embarrassed and never shop there again.

Advertisers don't want to frighten off potential customers in any way, so the ads will be hugely broad-based on their age and gender. Now as video detection gets to be more precise and accurate you may see ads develop like amazon's personalized recommendations, etc.


I can't wait
By FITCamaro on 3/11/2010 9:56:33 PM , Rating: 2
To see some really ugly chick walk past one of these and it go "Sir would you like to try the new Gillette beard and mustache trimmer?" Or some really fat guy to walk by and it be like "Miss have you gotten everything you need for your baby on the way?".




RE: I can't wait
By ZaethDekar on 3/12/2010 3:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
It will give a whole new meaning to people watching at the mall. It could actually be a good workout for your abs from laughing so much.


Privacy?
By bhieb on 3/11/2010 1:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some critics are already complaining that NEC's system is an invasion of privacy. NEC maintains that people viewing the ads would remain anonymous and images of their face would be deleted.


Public <> privacy. Once you step outside and someone can see you, you are not entitled to any privacy. By definition if the public can observe it then there cannot be a privacy issue. This camera does not see anything that any person looking at you does not.

Same as the google maps thing. Does it annoy me a little that the entire world can see my house (I know I can opt out)? Sure but ultimately they could if they just drove by.




Meh
By Suntan on 3/11/2010 1:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
The first time I see one I'll probably be a little weirded out by the fact that the ad is watching me.

The second time I will probably think, "hey it's another one of those ad things."

The thrid time I'll walk on by and ignore it just like I do to all the other ads around me.

-Suntan




What will it do if?
By JediJeb on 3/11/2010 4:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
When the mall is crowded at Christmas and there are thousands of people of every type, age, size ect walking by at once, will this thing freak out trying to server up 20 different ads at the same time? And if they ads last more than a second or two, how will it switch fast enough to be effective in a crowded area?




By Shatbot on 3/14/2010 8:26:42 AM , Rating: 2
McDonalds had some trialing of a camera system for the drive-thru where it figured out what class the vehicle was and prepared burgers for that type of cars presumed occupants.

If you pulled up in a flatbed truck it heated up a quarter pounder. If I remember correctly they said something like an 85-90% accuracy.




Societal illness
By pakotlar on 3/15/2010 4:11:51 AM , Rating: 2
I won't live in a world like this. It's not only privacy invasion, but absolute madness. I couldn't imagine walking through Times Square or downtown Shanghai with this on top of all the other chaos.

I suppose one potential benefit is that ambient noise pollution could decrease with this system (as long as its coupled to a ultrasonic coupled narrow beam sound projection system).




By BZDTemp on 3/11/2010 11:32:26 AM , Rating: 1
as it means less "noise" in our surroundings but this is right on the edge of becoming a surveillance nightmare. But as long as anonymity is ensure the go for it.




"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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