Biometric digital signage for more than just advertising

The discussion about the face recognition software is stirred and one couldn’t ignore the subject especially since it’s mentioned in most  online DS publications. But it seems that its popularity goes beyond this industry as TechCrunch notes the new technology mainly for its profits.  ”$15 m for the ‘Minority Report’ ‘Type Facial Recognition Tech” says the article and Steven Spielberg could thank them and the entire DS sphere for the ongoing free publicity even though  the real-life system is somehow different from the one he imagined  (using face recognition instead of retina scans).

photo source: NEC-labs.

While everyone gets excited about the ”biometric” digital signage’ s advertising potential (see  gladvertising and personalised ads) its other possible use: safety enhancement is rarely if ever mentioned. That’s exactly what the TechCrunch article highlights: the identification of ”non-cooperative subjects”. In plain words, besides displaying ads the DS system or the ”screen” could act as a surveillance tool to detect illicit activities. Location: airports,  any crowded public or private spots, venues of various sizes.  Digital signage folks: applaud the digital signage’s potential advent as a security tool and its spreading into various spheres of our lives.

Speaking of which, this idea frightened a few people who wondered if the new DS software doesn’t go a little bit too far. Would people want that a central database collects their personal information that was never explicitly offered? And do it for advertising purposes? The Digital Signage Federation‘s reply to this is having facial recognition endorsers display notices both at the entrance of the data collection area and on the devices themselves (recommended text: ‘‘This- Company Name- digital sign uses a camera to estimate your age and gender in order to make advertisements more relevant to you. No images or identifying information about you is collected or stored. For more information,please visit or see the store manager.”) Anyway I’m sure that when it comes to safety reasons people will be more relaxed about privacy issues.

Related article: mood-based DOOH.


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