Sep 272010
 September 27, 2010  Business, Non-U.S., Surveillance

In Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi film Minority Report, an interactive ad shouts to Tom Cruise’s character “John Anderton, you could use a Guinness!” – having identified him by scanning his iris. In Japan, sci-fi prophecy is now becoming reality, with the first digital billboards tailored to passing shoppers tried out in malls.

Produced by the electronics giant NEC, the ad signage uses facial recognition software and can identify the shopper’s gender (with 85-90% accuracy), ethnicity and approximate age. With obvious attractions for marketers, they can then be targeted with ads for appropriate products – perfumes for women, for example.

Read more in the Guardian.

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