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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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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.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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