Senin, 19 Juli 2010

Billboards With Face Recognition Collect Demographic Data in Japan

One of the popular stories last week was this AFP piece about a group of Japanese train stations testing a new set of billboards with face recognition technology.  The billboards were inevitably, and sometimes breathlessly,  compared to the personalized signage in Minority Report.

The project is a lot less ambitious: it's goal is to collect demo data on people who pass by and stop to gawk at the ads: "The displays are part of a one-year trial being conducted by the Digital Signage Promotion Project, comprising 11 railway companies and their affiliated advertising firms. Their aim is to learn what kinds of people are interested in which ads at what times."

You can find additional details about the billboards in this press release (pdf in Japanese). Here's the project's website (Chrome does a decent job auto-translating it).

The technology is not very new; AdLab's posted about it two years ago. Much cooler are these mannequins with face recognition.

Check out CNN's coverage of the billboards back when they were displayed at a tradeshow in March complete, of course, with a Minority Report reference.