Posted by: Posterscope SA | March 17, 2011

They are watching you

The web journalist, Carlo Orlando, has recently released and article on the web site Info Packets on the controversial subject “smart billboards”.

In his article he collaborate on how Billboards are slowly becoming equipped with small cameras that record the age, gender and duration of time consumers stare at advertisements. The information is then transmitted to a central database for analysis. According to Orlando these smart billboards would be able to do for Outdoor advertisers as what click-trough’s have done for internet advertisers.

In his research, Orlando has discovered that advertisers will be able to use the data collected from “smart billboards” to immediately show different products depending on who is standing in front of the billboard. He explains by using the example that a 15-year-old male will almost always see a different product advertised compared to those a 55-year-old female would see. Unfortunately, Orlando has also found that many of the public believe that “smart billboards” will raise a number of privacy concerns. He states: “some are outraged that “smart billboards” lack warning signs and offer no indication that consumers are being watched”.

Conversely, according to Orlando’s research, the start-up companies behind the cameras have argued that the software used in the billboards does not store any actual images or videos. “The cameras use specialized software to determine a silhouette of a person standing in front of a billboard. It then analyzes facial features (cheekbone height; distance between nose and chin) to determine the gender and age of the consumer” explains nytimes.com

SOURCE: Carlo Orlando

 

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