NEC starts dabbling with face recognition for digital signage

From a Japanese technology publication

NEC Corp has developed a digital signage system that determines the gender, generation and other attributes of a person standing in front of a disp

lay using a face recognition technology and outputs advertisements on the display according to them.

The system is being used at “Odaiba Bokenoh Final,” an event hosted by Fuji Television Network Inc at Daiba, Tokyo, from July 19 to August 31, 2008.

Displays combined with a FeliCa contactless IC card reader/writer and a camera have been set up at the “NEC Interactive Corner: Medama-oyaji’s ‘Hey, Kitaro! I Can See Better'” at the “Gegege no Kitaro Yokai Tours,” an attraction at Odaiba Bokenoh.

Participants stand in front of the display and hold a FeliCa-based mobile phone over the reader/writer. The system determines the user’s gender and generation through the camera image using the face recognition technology.

The display shows advertisements that would suit the user’s gender and generation, choosing from the 15 candidates prepared in advance. An electronic coupon that would match the attributes is sent to the user’s mobile phone at the same time.

If users purchase products at stores using the coupons, they will receive a chance to win a prize. By analyzing the information acquired through these actions, the system can also measure advertising effects, NEC said.

NEC calls this system the “Digital Signage Solution,” combining their advertisement delivery and display system with their advertising value measurement system.

Very different culture in Japan, so who knows how this would play around here. I can’t see many people waving their phones in front of a reader and having themselves looked over by a biometrics camera for the sake of a coupon.

Interesting, though, to see a big panel company start to include and market this technology as part of the offer.

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