Yahoo Japan's Minority Report Billboards

Yahoo Japan is jumping on the Minority Report ad bandwagon with special electronic advertising screens. Thankfully, they will only be available in Japan. For now.

(Camera recognition billboard)

The electronic billboard contains a camera that takes pictures of passersby, and then uses recognition routines to determine the age and gender of the pedestrians. Specific content will be provided based on this information.

SF fans recognize the most extreme form of these advertisements as the biometrically personalized advertisements from the 2002 film Minority Report.

I find myself wondering when we will begin to employ some sort of device to free ourselves from intrusive ad targeting. Undoubtedly, the algorithms will make mistakes that will annoy or embarrass pedestrians; we need some sort of pocket-sized ad blocker like the one described by Alan Dean Foster in his excellent 2006 novel Sagramanda.

Employing aerogel cameras, adverts designed to appeal specifically to the young, female and middle-to-upper class zeroed in on her repeatedly. The constant battle between manufacturers of pocket-sized ad-blockers and the designers of mobile advertisements had spurred technological leaps among both.
(Read more about Foster's idea for pocket-sized ad blocker)

Source: Trading Markets.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/13/2009)

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