During a recent visit to Tokyo, the first phrase echoed by my son in a far away land was, “Wow, there’s so much technology.” This is coming from a young man who spends most of his school day working from a laptop and is consumed with a variety of technical mediums that include Nintendo, iTouch and Wii.
I must admit, he’s right. LED screens are everywhere, selling products and promoting restaurants. Even the local museums display dark booths that once held cashiers, only to be replaced by computer kiosks. The technology is so vast that you need a user’s manual to navigate the toilet (no joke).
Now, according to a recent CNN Japan story, “Ads that Watch You” advertising is on the move – once again. Imagine stopping to take a look at an advertisement, all the while the advertisement is looking at you. The following is from a CNN Japan transcript:
“Here is how this works. When you walk up to the ad, a camera captures your image. The computer figures out if you are a man or a woman and your age. Meanwhile, an age and gender-specific ad rolls. This shows that I’m in my 30s and I like seasonal pasta. The computer then determines how interested you are, how long you stay. That data is then recorded for the company. NEC engineer Junko Amagai says the facial recognition technology is accurate to within 10 years of your actual age, and the next-gen system they are testing out is even more age accurate.” CNN Business 360
It sounds as though we can expect testing to begin in the United States this spring. As a marketer, I suspect this new technology will continue to reinvent modern media. As an individual, I can only hope Christian Dior will not ‘guess’ my age to be older. Hopefully the techie’s behind the beta’s will remember the old saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”