Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Billboards Reading You

File this under "creepy stuff".

In Japan, NTT is testing a digital billboard system that watches back.

When trials begin in Japan for a technology test being run by NTT Communications in January, cameras will scan travelers to see how many of them are taking note of a billboard.
"On many street corners and railway stations there are many digital signs," said Tetsuya Kinebuchi, a senior research engineer at NTT's Cyber Space Laboratories and developer of the system. "To automatically measure the effectiveness of the advertisements we can put a camera and PC nearby, and by using the image from the camera we can estimate how many people are looking at the monitor."
While this technology won't be able to identify specific individuals - it will be using imaging technology to determine if people are looking at it. Another camera will also be positioned for the purpose of counting the number of people who are looking at the ad.

Maybe it won't really be that long before advertising technology catches up to what we saw in the movie Minority Report.

(H/T - Jeff A.)