138 innovations

People Watching Billboards

A billboard that can identify the age and gender of passers-by, then offer custom advertising according to their demographic, is already up and running in Japan. NEC Japan has been testing the digital billboard technology in major shopping centers over the past year. The American arm of NEC is preparing to bring them to the U.S. this year.

The people watching billboards have had mixed reactions. Many allude to a scene in the film, Minority Report in which Tom Cruise's character is scanned by ad generating billboards as he walks through a futuristic mall.

Frightening or not, what was recently a sci-fi future of scan responsive targeted advertising has arrived.
In Minority Report, a billboard tells Cruise's character he could do with a drink. US stores have started testing another system which texts vouchers and offers to customers' phones within a mile of a branch. Around 65 per cent of people receiving the alerts went into the shop. The scheme could be extended to the UK in six months.

Source: trendhunter.comAdded: 23 March 2010