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Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Ads Have Eyes

Watch a video advertisement in a mall or grocery store and be aware that the ads might be watching back! Though in limited use at the moment, some video ad displays are now making use of small cameras and software to determine the gender, age range and, in some cases, ethnicity of the viewer and then change the ads accordingly.

“This is pro-active merchandising,” says Vicki Rabenou, the chief measurement officer of Tampa, Fla.-based TruMedia Technologies Inc., “You're targeting people with smart ads.”

As the CBC points out it sounds a lot like Minority Report... but no retinal scans yet!

During a recent trip through Boston's Logan airport I spotted a video ad that reacted to the movements of passers by. I thought at the time that it was a clever way to draw attention to the ad but perhaps they were gathering a little insight into me as well?