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Print 26 comment(s) - last by afkrotch.. on Jul 19 at 11:01 PM


  (Source: Dreamworks)

One of the scanning billboards springs into action.  (Source: AFP)
Is technology another great step in advertising or an outrageous violation of privacy?

In Tokyo Big Brother is really watching you -- but Big Brother is actually big business.  Businesses on the island nation are reportedly rolling out advertising billboards with cameras that scan nearby viewers' age and sex.  Japanese firms believe they can use these metrics, much like internet advertising, to better target customers.

The project, the Digital Signage Promotion Project, was launched by 11 railroad companies last month.  Twenty-seven of the vigilant billboards are deployed in subway commuter stations around Tokyo.

A spokeperson describes, "The camera can distinguish a person's sex and approximate age, even if the person only walks by in front of the display, at least if he or she looks at the screen for a second."

The station can then serve up ads "which meet the interest of people who use the station at a certain time."

The invention mirrors the smart billboards found in the movie "Minority Report" directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise.  In that film Cruise's character is recognized by advertising billboards which say his name aloud, endangering him when he's on the run form the law.

Currently the Japanese experiment does not recognize individuals -- only basic demographic data.  And the companies involve promise that video of their passing customers won't be stored.

Japan is often a nation who takes an edgy stance on privacy.  A Japanese firm recently created a stir when it released a "caring", "mothering" system to help businesses snoop on their employees cell phones.


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RE: Interesting, very interesting indeed.
By amanojaku on 7/16/2010 9:59:43 AM , Rating: 5
It's TOKYO. Ads targeted to middle-aged men would include Asahi-drinking, Japan-destroying monsters with 1,000,000 furry-teenage-girl-raping tentacles.

Did I miss any stereotypes?


By Anoxanmore on 7/16/2010 10:07:57 AM , Rating: 5
Yes you forgot drifting. :)


RE: Interesting, very interesting indeed.
By Kurz on 7/16/2010 11:07:53 AM , Rating: 2
Hentai?


RE: Interesting, very interesting indeed.
By amanojaku on 7/16/2010 11:14:35 AM , Rating: 5
Gangster-apocalyptic-monster-hentai. But no drifting. The only drifting middle-aged Japanese men do is from the cosplay restaurant to the love hotel.

These comments are guaranteeing me a place in Hell. :-)


RE: Interesting, very interesting indeed.
By Anoxanmore on 7/16/2010 11:27:13 AM , Rating: 2
If you think middle aged Japanese men don't drift, you've never been to Tokyo. :)

It is kind of like the NASCAR of the US, they are all middle-aged hicks :)


By afkrotch on 7/19/2010 11:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you've never been to Tokyo, if you think they're all middle aged. They are more like 22-45. Definitely not high school kids, like that stupid Fast and Furious movie.


By jvillaro on 7/17/2010 1:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
Funky cellphones and cameras!


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