Friday, 17 April 2009

Yahoo Japan trials Minority Report billboards

I've been expecting personalized outdoor advertising to turn up at some stage ever since seeing Minority Report. I'd always expected that this would be based on some data privacy troubling RFID reading technology that could scan your mobile for web history and shopping preferences. However Yahoo Japan have developed face-recognition software that can identify the age and gender of passers by, and serve them *relevant* advertising messages.

The demo will initially run across 500 screens in Fukuoka, which will also play news and weather updates. Given that we already have the most videoed public spaces in the world in the UK, I can't see how this would theoretically cause too much problem if it was rolled out here - certainly far less intrusive than the RFID model. Whether this would actually work will be more related to how useful the ad content is, and how much the it adds to the environments where it exists. (so not holding out much hope there....). Will be an interesting one to watch though.
(HT to @deandonaldson for the link)


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