Tokyo's "Minority Report" Ad Boards Scan Viewer's Sex and Age
July 16, 2010 9:00 AM
comment(s) - last by
One of the scanning billboards springs into action.
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
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: Last Picture Posted
7/16/2010 11:29:56 PM
This ad probably isn't targeted towards that guy walking by as in the article is says you need to look at the camera before it can display "your" ad. Looks like the photographer is probably a female (probably wearing fur accessories) who happens to take the picture as the guy was walking by which in return the ad billboard mixed the two up and think it's a cat with boobies?
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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