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Tokyo Rail Billboards Scan Viewer's Age, Gender

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the to-me-you're-a-14-year-old-girl dept.

Advertising 235

eldavojohn writes "The AFP is reporting on digital billboards in Tokyo that scan for a viewer's age and gender to tailor the message to them. It's a Digital Signage Promotion Project that 11 railway companies are debuting. The head of the project said, 'The camera can distinguish a person's sex and approximate age, even if the person only walks by in front of the display, at least if he or she looks at the screen for a second.' Philip K. Dick's Minority Report draws closer every day."

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235 comments

Stop, Citizen! (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32916682)

::pause::

OK, move along.

Re:Stop, Citizen! (5, Funny)

Kepesk (1093871) | about 4 years ago | (#32916808)

Quick! Everyone put on Larry King masks so all the billboards turn into adult diaper ads!

Re:Stop, Citizen! (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 years ago | (#32917814)

Quick! Everyone put on Larry King masks so all the billboards turn into adult diaper ads!

No, everyone put on "interkin3tic" masks, so we can get all the billboards to turn into weird hentai ads!

Just, let's please come to a consensus, all one or the other, because if we half do Larry King and half do me, we're going to get wierd hentai ads featuring adult diapers. And there are some lines even I don't want to see crossed.

hmmm (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32916686)

waiting for it to call you a female and you are a male...

Re:hmmm (4, Funny)

Selfbain (624722) | about 4 years ago | (#32916892)

If you wanted to be really evil, you could program it to identify socially awkward teens and have it identify them as the opposite gender.

Re:hmmm (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#32917106)

This is Japan we're talking about. Have the system identify all males as tentacle monsters.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917964)

And when it sees an overweight American it should just scream "GOZIRRRAAA!"

Crossdressers/transgendered? (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 4 years ago | (#32917398)

I wonder what it does for a passerby who is a crossdresser or transgendered.

Re:Crossdressers/transgendered? (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#32917478)

Since the system is being developed in Japan, we know that crossdressing guys will be identified as evil because of the Square-Enix rules [gawker.com] .

Re:Crossdressers/transgendered? (1)

stfvon007 (632997) | about 4 years ago | (#32917566)

Come see Dr Okawa, voted best plastic surgeon by surviving patients in the greater Kyoto area! Free consultation! Mention this billboard and save 5% off all elective procedures!

Re:hmmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917492)

Chink's all look the same anyway.

Re:hmmm (3, Insightful)

Idbar (1034346) | about 4 years ago | (#32917706)

I happens that there may be many people in front of the billboard.

I'd assume that when the detector cannot discriminate, a general advertisement should come up.

I could come up with a basic list of what could be shown: Old man: viagra
Middle age man: sport cars
Young man: condoms
Old woman: Body lotion
Middle age woman: gym equipment or subscriptions
Young woman: tampons or female hygiene products
man (unable to discriminate age): cars
woman (unable to discriminate age): magazine subscriptions
young (unable to discriminate sex): video games/soda
middle aged (unable to discriminate sex): banking products
old (unable to discriminate sex): vacation spots
unable to discriminate age and sex: consumer electronics/cellphone plans


Now, group these categories and show something different every time.

Re:hmmm (2, Insightful)

thepotoo (829391) | about 4 years ago | (#32917904)

OK, TFA has absolutely no details, but I think all it's doing is recording information about the demographic that looks at the billboard, thus allowing the billboard owner to say: "57% of the people looking at this billboard are male, 18-35 years old" and then pick an appropriate ad for the space.

The issue with this, of course, is that if you have a billboard showing some iteration of rule 34, a certain demographic is going to look, and you'll get the impression that only this demographic looks at ads, and then show more ads targeted to this demographic (lolcats) when in fact (hypothetically) there is a much larger entire demographic (say, 65+ women) walking by that doesn't stare because they don't care about lolcats. Maybe they just have a blank wall to get a sense of whose walking by before they show any ad? Or maybe this is just to get a sense of how many people are actually seeing the ad?

I don't know, this seems like a case of over-engineering, privacy issues aside ("operators have promised they will save no recorded images" yeah right).

This can't end well... (3, Funny)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#32916712)

Automatic recognition, on a wide scale / network, of young females, in Japan? Oh my...

Re:This can't end well... (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 years ago | (#32917330)

Automatic recognition, on a wide scale / network, of young females, in Japan?

Uh, no. It's not automatic recognition on an individual level beyond age and gender. It won't say "Hey! Yoshiko! You there! Buy some Pocari Sweat!" It might say "Hey! Big group of mostly 20 something guys heading to the business district! How about some Evangelion-themed pachinko after work!"

It's not going to be a wide scale network, at least I see nothing suggesting it's going to be networked. Which, getting back to the previous point, would be pointless anyway. "Hey! You might be one of the 10 million 15 year old males we saw in Osaka last week! Drink Coke Zero!"

The "looking at the billboard" is a clue. I think it's just going to try to measure which demographics are looking at which ads, so they can target them better. "This particular location near the line to Akihibara 'electric town' saw a whole lot of 20 to 30 year old males, so that's where the ad for the next Dragon Quest would be most effective. Meanwhile, the exit from the Keio line had mostly elderly people, so lets not pay as much for those locations."

Re:This can't end well... (3, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#32917522)

They could also do timed advertising as well. Some supermarkets play different kinds of musics depending on the day of the week and the hour.

Additional Features (2, Funny)

Bicx (1042846) | about 4 years ago | (#32916724)

- Escort ads for those who appear middle-aged and alone

- Diet Services for those who appear overweight

- Viagra ads for those who appear to have undersized genitals

Re:Additional Features (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#32917068)

- Selective b0m8 detonation

Re:Additional Features (1)

Suki I (1546431) | about 4 years ago | (#32917920)

This was an idea we had when I helped with a futuristic book series. In the first book most of it got cut, he just went with a mention (I think) that ads along Crystal Drive (Arlington VA) would detect who was walking through their head-mounted computing/communication devices and display an ad, unless the user went to the effort to lock that feature out. Throughout the series there are voyeur cams saturating the industrial world and people run bots on the network and at home to spot people they find attractive in whatever location they like.

Finally (2, Funny)

by (1706743) (1706744) | about 4 years ago | (#32916726)

Something that can determine Pat's gender. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32916992)

"Do the Martians have two sexes, like we do?" - Androgynous reporter from Mars Attacks!

Now that's just not right... (1)

tool462 (677306) | about 4 years ago | (#32916758)

Code excerpt:

Person.setAge(getAgeEstimate());
Person.setSex(getGender());
if (Person.age 18 && Person.sex == "F")
      Person.setAge(18); // Giggity giggity

Re:Now that's just not right... (1)

tool462 (677306) | about 4 years ago | (#32916782)

D'oh. HTML swallowed my <

Re:Now that's just not right... (2, Funny)

jfoobaz (1844794) | about 4 years ago | (#32916930)

HTML swallowed my

Giggity.

Re:Now that's just not right... (1)

tom17 (659054) | about 4 years ago | (#32917382)

Maybe I have missed something...

Get age, get sex
if age is 18 and sex is F then set age to 18... ? (It's already 18).

Or were you just going for the giggity?

OK, too far. (2, Insightful)

BVis (267028) | about 4 years ago | (#32916764)

At what point do we turn to the marketing overlords and say "Fuck you, you don't have a right to know my age or gender, as much as you think you might". Advertising has gone too far already with being microtargeted, someone has to draw the line.

YOU DON'T HAVE AN INALIENABLE RIGHT TO MARKET TO ME. Make money by doing something useful, not leeching off those who do.

Re:OK, too far. (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#32916898)

lol really? I don't understand your unexplained rage at being marketed to. Would it bother you if they instead paid a person to sit out there and write down the gender and approximate age of every person that walked past? Pretty much every person you see throughout the day has this information about you (and a lot more, for example, that you get upset a lot).

I mean, yeah, it's kind of annoying to get to a web page and there's advertising on it, but the ideal advertising is when you only tell people who are interested in a product about the product. That way you don't have to worry about people who aren't interested, or people who might become homicidal because of it, like you. This just goes one step closer to only giving people advertisement for things they might be interested in.

Really, don't kill anyone over this.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#32916966)

So because you don't care and have no imagination, no one else can try to create spaces that are somewhere in between the current definitions of public and private (one such space would be a space where mass-surveillance was not permitted)?

Ha-ha Jonesy, you stepped out of the shroud, you're fucked now.

Re:OK, too far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917020)

Laws and morals aren't adapting fast enough to keep pace with technology.

You're making the same kind of argument cops use to say they should be able to put trackers on cars without a warrant etc. There's a difference between something done occasionally by humans and something done universally with minimal cost.

Re:OK, too far. (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#32917192)

OK, I can accept that I may be wrong, that there may be some privacy issue that I'm not seeing. Not everything done with technology is a privacy problem, though. There is no personal information stored here. It's like the difference between putting a tracker on a car and a machine that counts cars going by. One is a privacy violation, and the other is laughable to get upset about.

I know it's good to worry about privacy issues, and slippery slopes and all that, but this isn't a slippery slope. We can draw a line between things that need a warrant (or permission) and things that don't. "Think of the privacy issues" is like the nerd equivalent of "think of the children," you can use it to manipulate geeks to oppose things, but I don't see this one as crossing the line.

In any case raging about it does nothing except make you look silly, and probably reduces your chances of actually doing something practical about it.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

BVis (267028) | about 4 years ago | (#32917414)

Would it bother you if they instead paid a person to sit out there and write down the gender and approximate age of every person that walked past?

Yes, actually, it would. It's none of their business, leave me alone.

the ideal advertising is when you only tell people who are interested in a product about the product.

If I'm interested in a product, I don't need to be told about it. If I want to find it, I'll find it, I don't need it thrown in my face constantly like a monkey hitting a typewriter.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#32917502)

Yes, actually, it would. It's none of their business, leave me alone.

You worry about the wrong things, babe. Go put your effort towards something more productive.

Re:OK, too far. (5, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | about 4 years ago | (#32917778)

If I'm interested in a product, I don't need to be told about it. If I want to find it, I'll find it

My head just exploded.

In general terms, the point of most advertising is to either introduce an unknown or new product to the public or to inform the public of benefits of using said product. As such, if you don't know about a product, how would you know you don't need to be told about it? Which means, you know you don't know so you don't need to know, therefore not knowing means you know enough about it to not need to know. WTF?!

*Boom* There it went again.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

BVis (267028) | about 4 years ago | (#32917862)

In general terms, the point of most advertising is to either introduce an unknown or new product to the public or to inform the public of benefits of using said product.

When I find myself in need of a product or service, I am perfectly capable of seeking out said product or service. If you need to tell me about it to convince me that I need it.. I don't need it.

As such, if you don't know about a product, how would you know you don't need to be told about it?

I don't need to be told about it if I don't need it. 99% of the time I'm marketed to, it's a product that I have no interest in. I'm not about to give up some (even tiny) measure of privacy to improve that ratio.

Which means, you know you don't know so you don't need to know, therefore not knowing means you know enough about it to not need to know

I know enough to know that if I need something, I can find it, I don't need to be whacked in the face with it 900 times when I don't need it.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

GooberToo (74388) | about 4 years ago | (#32917924)

When I find myself in need of a product or service

That's the point. Many times, without advertising, you wouldn't know of a product of service and therefore wouldn't know you could seek said product or service.

*BLAM* There, it happened again!

Re:OK, too far. (1)

BVis (267028) | about 4 years ago | (#32917976)

Many times, without advertising, you wouldn't know of a product of service and therefore wouldn't know you could seek said product or service.

I'm perfectly capable of typing, for example, "Blue Jeans" into a search engine and reading the result.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

nephilimsd (936642) | about 4 years ago | (#32917448)

The real problem will come when the automatic advertisements start selecting the GP for targetted gun adds.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

node_chomsky (1830014) | about 4 years ago | (#32917866)

I entirely understand your point, but I question the legitimacy of the billboard's presence to begin with, more so than the technology embedded in it. Advertising is an influence on your decisions being controlled by someone or something that has no understanding of you beyond your most impulsive, universal, and base qualities, I simply cannot see any reason a person could possibly want that. I would love to get on a tirade about the myth of consumerism, but I really should be getting back to work on my MacBook Air instead of being a total hypocrite.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#32917970)

Most people spend their lives trying fulfill their most impulsive, universal, and base qualities. If we could find a way to help them overcome that, it would be much more effective and amazing and useful than merely stopping advertising (which probably wouldn't do much).

Re:OK, too far. (1)

east coast (590680) | about 4 years ago | (#32917030)

At what point do we turn to the marketing overlords...

I don't know. At what point do you?

Every person is going to see this question differently. If you really have that much of a problem with who is marketing something to you just write to them and say "I love your product but your advertising method gives me the chills. I won't be buying from you again until you amend your ways." Then: STICK TO IT! Boycotts don't work unless companies lose profits because of it.

If enough people agree and follow your lead then you're in a good place. Otherwise you're SOL.

As far as their right? Sure they do. If you don't like it try the boycott, otherwise don't come out of your house for fear of being marketed to.

Re:OK, too far. (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32917144)

>>>YOU DON'T HAVE AN INALIENABLE RIGHT TO MARKET TO ME

Yes actually I do. It's my mouth and if I want to stand on a street corner and market my "the world is ending" speech all day long, I can. If you don't like it, move to a different part of the public street or only frequent private areas (like malls) where I can not enter.

 

Re:OK, too far. (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 years ago | (#32917266)

Not only that but I can identify your approximate age and your gender. Then I can approximate income level by your clothing and accessories and begin to tailor my "the world is ending" speech to have more effect on my audience.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about 4 years ago | (#32917792)

Not only that but I can identify your approximate age and your gender. Then I can approximate income level by your clothing and accessories and begin to tailor my "the world is ending" speech to have more effect on my audience.

And do it from 5000 different sites 24/7 and collect the data to determine if certain groups congregate at certain locations at specific points in the day! And try similar messages at nearby locations to see which has the most positive response and then sell that information to maximize profit!

Oh, wait, you can't do that.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

BVis (267028) | about 4 years ago | (#32917458)

Your analogy is flawed. If you ride the Tokyo rail system, essentially you are a captive audience for this kind of surveillance. And if some lunatic is ranting about the end of the world on the street in front of my place of business, I can't exactly avoid them either.

Re:OK, too far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917660)

Yeah, you can do that till I decide to shoot you in the face and kill you for being a faggot.

Re:OK, too far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917468)

I recommend that you refrain from purchasing a product that has been marketed to you in a way you find offensive. And, y'know, fucking switch to decaf or something.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

InsertCleverUsername (950130) | about 4 years ago | (#32917644)

Advertising has gone too far already with being microtargeted, someone has to draw the line.

Try to look at the upside; do you really want to watch ads for feminine hygiene products?

Re:OK, too far. (1)

BVis (267028) | about 4 years ago | (#32917888)

Try to look at the upside; do you really want to watch ads for feminine hygiene products?

I don't want to see ANY ads. Period. I don't want to be marketed to. At all. Nobody has a RIGHT to market to me if I don't want it.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 4 years ago | (#32917700)

Is this any different than hiring a real person to try to drum up business for an establishment, who can (as a human being) recognize things like race, gender, and age and give different pitches to members of different demographics?

Why is it ok for a human to do it, but not a machine?

Now if it's programed to identify specific individuals and track or reference data on you in order to target you, then I could see you getting upset... then we're moving into Amazon and Google territory!

Re:OK, too far. (1)

BVis (267028) | about 4 years ago | (#32917938)

Why is it ok for a human to do it, but not a machine?

It isn't ok. If your product or service isn't good enough to attract customers on its own, then You're Doing It Wrong. Good products sell themselves, they don't need shithead MBAs who can't tie their own shoes to tell the great unwashed what they want.

Re:OK, too far. (1)

Gulthek (12570) | about 4 years ago | (#32917846)

Never?

Oh no! A company is trying to let me know about a product it sells!

Oh no! A company is trying to target it's advertising so that I'm not bored with useless ads!

The horror?

I have been to Japan... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32916794)

...I doubt they get much accuracy in age, and probably a large number of "indeterminate" or false positives on gender...

Re:I have been to Japan... (5, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#32916842)

...I doubt they get much accuracy in age, and probably a large number of "indeterminate" or false positives on gender...

If some electronic add calls me a chick, I'm punching its lights out!

Re:I have been to Japan... (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#32917412)

If some electronic add calls me a chick...

you'll do an electronic subtract?

Re:I have been to Japan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917754)

false positives on gender...

Wait, there are people in Japan without gender?

Wasn't in PKD's Minority Report (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32916848)

The commercial eye-scanners were all Spielberg.

Re:Wasn't in PKD's Minority Report (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32917080)

And also "Minority Report" was about catching people in acts of pre-crime, before they killed someone. I don't see any indication that these cameras can predict future murders.

Re:Wasn't in PKD's Minority Report (1)

minogully (1855264) | about 4 years ago | (#32917470)

It's not about what Minority Report was about, it's a reference to certain aspects of the futuristic world that was created. So it doesn't matter that the main technology featured in Minority Report was about catching people in acts of pre-crime. It's like if we started to see flying cars everywhere, we could say that we're be closer to "Back to the Future 2", even though time travel wasn't invented (yet?...).

Re:Wasn't in PKD's Minority Report (2, Funny)

kg8484 (1755554) | about 4 years ago | (#32917472)

I don't see any indication that these cameras can predict future murders.

But if they could, they would be more likely to offer ads for weapons, ropes, shovels and lotion rather than report you to authorities.

Re:Wasn't in PKD's Minority Report (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | about 4 years ago | (#32917950)

They're referring to the the movie version, which showed the characters constantly walking past 'billboards' that recognized the passersby via retinal scans and pitched customized ads to them by name. They were intentionally annoying, and were used as a plot device to show how difficult it was for the main character to remain anonymous in public places, once he was wanted by the police.

In Soviet North Korea (0, Offtopic)

smitty777 (1612557) | about 4 years ago | (#32916888)

...I just can't do it...

Re:In Soviet North Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32916978)

Neither could your geography teacher.

Re:In Soviet North Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917132)

Need to brush up on our internet memes a little, do we?

Movie version vs. original story (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | about 4 years ago | (#32916890)

Remember those sequences in Spielberg's take on 'Minority Report' in which advertisements would actually call out names of passers-by or customers entering shops - how that would work with groups of people (or whether it would just default to a generic pitch) I do not know. The technology around this sort of thing looks pretty attainable by 2052 which was the year that movie was set. Same as a few other things in the film. Infact it seemed quite a prudent take on the future except for all the precognition stuff which veered a bit far into the paranormal/ESP realm for my liking.

Can't really say that the existence of this tech necessarily makes it use exclusively predilected towards authoritarian regime and control...I mean we could say the same of multitudes of inventions that could be adapted just as these advertisements could. For instance closer analysis on demographics deemed likelier to be 'subversive' etc; but given the point I just made there's no need to single this particular invention out with couple of 1984 quotes. Remember that the big surveillance tool in 1984 was an adapted television screen (telescreen) - you don't get much by way of that criticism when Toshiba or Samsung announces a massive new screen; no mentions of Fahrenheit 451 either which would be more astute in any case.

I haven't read PKD's short story for a long, long time...maybe 8 or 9 years but I remember when I mentally compared the film to it after seeing it in a theatre that it wasn't all that similar to the blockbuster which had massive exposure. More like bits and pieces were there, with the screenwriters building a different shell and appending entirely new characters to progress the movie. So I was wondering if somebody would clarify if this technology was actually in the short story as opposed to merely the film?

Re:Movie version vs. original story (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#32917496)

Remember those sequences in Spielberg's take on 'Minority Report' in which advertisements would actually call out names of passers-by or customers entering shops - how that would work with groups of people (or whether it would just default to a generic pitch) I do not know.

Person with the highest probability to buy the product being advertised. Factor in disposable income, interests, gullability factor, and so on to come up with a number from 0 to 1 for each person. Choose the highest. Of course, playing on group dynamics would also be neat if you can determine that some the members of the group know each other.

"Hello Mr. Yukkamoto (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | about 4 years ago | (#32916906)

...and welcome back to the GAP!"

I keep wondering why Minority Report type advertising (esp. in-store) isn't here yet despite advancements in face recognition. Plant an innocuous camera at the checkout, and cross-link data from the credit card (your name is on there). Next time you walk in, an animation on a prominently positioned HDTV or projection display greets you by name, and a clerk can sidle up offering help & suggestions based on your buying history.

Re:"Hello Mr. Yukkamoto (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#32917028)

And in a really big hurry, they'd learn that, in order to sell to me, they need to have their computers not acknowledge my presence in any way.

Of course, that would just mean that my preferences would be updated to "use more subtle advertising on this dumb fuck so he's fooled into thinking we left him alone" and trigger my sense of superiority over the brainwashed hoi polloi which, of course, means I'd be more susceptible to the subtle advertising and buy more shit from them.

Re:"Hello Mr. Yukkamoto (2, Funny)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 4 years ago | (#32917060)

Because it would creep too many people out and drive them away from the store.

I have Progeria you insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32916912)

I'm 16 but I look 60!

Philip K. Dick (1)

Dracos (107777) | about 4 years ago | (#32916938)

...Just gasped in his grave.

You look like a girl (1)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | about 4 years ago | (#32916982)

And this computer agrees with me, so you scientifically look like a girl

Re:You look like a girl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917308)

Really? [transgirldiaries.com] Why, thank you! =)

(And they say, 'flattery* gets you nowhere!')

* pun intended

How is this like Minority Report? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917024)

Isn't that the one about the three muses who can see the future and predict crimes before they happen? And there are three so that if one is wrong the other two can overrule it? And the cop who gets notification to arrest himself because he's going to murder someone and runs away? And then it turns out that they disagree because they make their prediction serially, so the future changes between each prediction based on the knowledge of the future provided by the previous prediction, so essentially it's a time travel paradox story? And he ends up killing someone else in self defense for trying to arrest him even though he's innocent? I'm no Philip K. Dick fan, so maybe I'm wrong, but how is this like Minority Report at all?

Tailored ads are a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917032)

Seriously, if you have the starting point that you ARE going to be provided with ads in some form, AND you can get around the privacy concerns, then tailored ads are great.

Do I want to listen to ads for cleaning sprays? No. Could I potentially watch trailers for upcoming computer games? Yes.

If anything, the world of internet ads would be better if the major banner ad networks had a place you could pick the types of adverts to see, provided that you were going to see one.

Scanning for hot chicks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917040)

Scan criteria.

1)Appears 13 but actual age 18+

2)Overly large eyes.

3)Short skirt

4)Pigtails

5)Holding stuffed animal preferably a teddy bear.

Reverse Effect (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | about 4 years ago | (#32917050)

Y'know, I don't know about the rest of you, but for me the harder they try to get me to buy stupid shit the more I feel that I don't want to buy things advertised in mass media.

I see these billboards as a giant warning sign of what NOT to buy. If I fall into some assumed demographic and I don't already have the product I likely don't need it anyway.

Re:Reverse Effect (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#32917124)

They'll just show you competitors products, or made up products.

Re:Reverse Effect (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | about 4 years ago | (#32917230)

Fine by me, it's a dead avenue.

Re:Reverse Effect (1)

dgower2 (1487929) | about 4 years ago | (#32917646)

I'm exactly the same way. A part of me despises the whole marketing industry, mainly because they really insult your intelligence by telling you absolutely nothing pertinent about the product. Rather, they try to project an image (happy family at dinner, attracting hot females, getting that promotion, etc.) I'm contantly wondering if there are people out there so weak minded that they actually buy into this crap.

You've got to be pretty low on the intelligence scale to buy car insurance based on a caveman, gecko, or stack of dollars with eyes.

They're capitalizing on the stupid.

How often will it change??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917052)

I envision a flickering screen trying to display a tailored ad for every person of differing age/gender from the one who passed seconds ago. This could get ugly. Epileptics, avoid Tokyo trains!

Re:How often will it change??? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 years ago | (#32917360)

I would think they would use and advanced version of this [arstechnica.com] technology and be able to use the full screen to send individual ads to each person in the area at the same time.

Islam countries? (3, Funny)

vlueboy (1799360) | about 4 years ago | (#32917054)

So this tech will not work against two types of foes:
Muslim women with only their eyes exposed
Those of us who will see these billboards everywhere in 30 years and start dressing lie ninjas in public.

Re:Islam countries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917770)

Muslim women with only their eyes exposed - Will be identified as ninjas
Those of us who will see these billboards everywhere in 30 years and start dressing lie ninjas in public. - Will be identified as muslim women

Re:Islam countries? (2, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | about 4 years ago | (#32917842)

Need Ninja supplies? Why not stop off at Goemon's One Stop Ninja Shop for all your Ninja needs! ...

Hey ladies, tired of targeted advertising? C'mon down to The Burqa Boutique, we've got the latest fashions just time in summer, all in the new classic; black! ...

A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies!

Time to mass-produce these, I guess (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#32917224)

FU masks [blogspot.com] .

QUIT WRITING DYSTOPIC SCIENCE FICTION... (4, Funny)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | about 4 years ago | (#32917280)

... you're giving them ideas!

Re:QUIT WRITING DYSTOPIC SCIENCE FICTION... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917352)

I really wish I could mod you up for this.

Re:QUIT WRITING DYSTOPIC SCIENCE FICTION... (4, Insightful)

smellsofbikes (890263) | about 4 years ago | (#32917618)

... you're giving them ideas!

The whole point of *good* science fiction is to issue a warning to the world about what will happen to us all if we don't act now to stop whatever issue the writer is writing about. Scifi that presents a good future is escapism. Scifi that extrapolates our current trends and demonstrates the catastrophe that will ensue, is great literature, and from the standpoint of its potential worth to our culture, it's probably the greatest literature we have.

Re:QUIT WRITING DYSTOPIC SCIENCE FICTION... (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | about 4 years ago | (#32917878)

Whoosh.

Imagine a dystopic future where the cruel masterminds that rule our society steal ideas from science fiction writers to aid them in their domination of mankind.

Cable companies ... (2, Funny)

jabberwock (10206) | about 4 years ago | (#32917392)

We can't be very far away from having ads on cable TV that greet you by name and act like they know you.

Hi Bob,

As a 47-year-old married guy with two teen-agers who is having trouble paying his bills, we don't want to make you feel worse by showing you ads for products you can't afford, like new cars. We show those ads to Dave, next door. What you need is ... Pepto-Bismol, and maybe some antidepressants, right?

Oh, hell. Maybe they are doing that and I haven't caught on yet.

Will they screen the ads first? (3, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 4 years ago | (#32917572)

As a 47-year-old married guy with two teen-agers who is having trouble paying his bills, we don't want to make you feel worse by showing you ads for products you can't afford, like new cars. We show those ads to Dave, next door. What you need is ... Pepto-Bismol, and maybe some antidepressants, right?

"Money problems? Did you know there are places in this world that will buy your children? Press "9" on your television remote for further details."

Happy fun time signs! (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 4 years ago | (#32917444)

"Hello [scanning] sir."

"Now that you are [scanning] in the prime of middle age, couldn't you see yourself in a brand new Generic Sport Sedan From GeneriCo?"

"Yes, sir, approach this kiosk, and I will display the many features of the Boring Oval Shaped Sedan 300Q"

"It is not necessary for you to hold a [scanning] metal pipe to view this ad."

"Neither is it necessary for you to [bzzzt] strike this kiosk with the [blargle] metal pipe."

"Please [buzz] stop [skree] hitting [roar] me, [bzzzzrrrzzzzzzzzzz] sir"

"[zzzzz] maintenance required [skttttttktktktk] please [bzzzzz] Daisy daisy [zzzzzz] rosebud"

"sssssssssss boop!"

(blessed silence)

Re:Happy fun time signs! (1)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about 4 years ago | (#32917926)

What do you think you're doing Dave...

Minority Report (0, Offtopic)

blueg3 (192743) | about 4 years ago | (#32917482)

Apparently, software automatically determining a person's age and gender when they're in public is nearly the same as using data gleaned from a few insane psychics to arrest people for future crimes.

Except that they're completely different.

Thankfully, the Japanese have given us a solution (1)

wowbagger (69688) | about 4 years ago | (#32917520)

Thankfully, the Japanese have given us a solution - namely, 1 watt blue laser diodes.

And Wicked Lasers has made them portable.

Burn out all cameras
For Great Justice!

The technology is already in use in the US (3, Informative)

Kizeh (71312) | about 4 years ago | (#32917608)

And this is different from signs with the same capability that have been in US Malls for a good while only in that they're actually actively acting on the info, whereas the US marketers, AFAIK, only so far use it to analyze who is viewing their ads and for how long. Next time you're out and about the mall, look for the small camera on top of the ad. They're out there/

Bra Ads (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | about 4 years ago | (#32917686)

What's the algorithm that triggers this ad and can a man who triggered it sue?

!Philip K Dick. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32917782)

If you actually read "Minority Report" you'll note that Philip K Dick didn't mention anything about fancy signboards. All of that stuff was added by the movie screenplay. So whilst Mr Dick was a pretty fair SciFi author, he wasn't able to predict THAT particular bit of technology.

Most of the movies that bear his name come from short stories that are really very little like the screenplay.

Burkhas forever!!! (1)

advocate_one (662832) | about 4 years ago | (#32917892)

all of a sudden I'm all in favour of being able to wear a Burkha in public... in order to preserve my anomynity!!! fsck the French and their anti-burkha law... and fsck the British parliament as apparently all of a sudden their in favour of an anti face covering law,,,
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