A Seattle newspaper got a peek inside Microsoft’s advertising R&D lab recently, and reported on new technology that tries to use facial recognition to serve up ads according to gender.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:
The system is intended for use with large video screens in public places, such as shopping malls. It’s one of the projects being pursued inside Microsoft’s adCenter Labs — part of the company’s effort to come from behind in online ads and other forms of digital marketing.
Microsoft says adCenter Labs has doubled in size during the past year, to more than 120 people, in Redmond and Beijing. Researchers and engineers from the group showed their latest work at an event Wednesday on the Microsoft campus.
“I really believe that the future of the entire advertising industry is sitting in this room,” said David Jakubowski, general manager of Microsoft’s overall adCenter advertising system.
Well, they have had their butt handed to them a few times with advertising ventures, but who knows. This in interesting stuff, though I expect I would run a budget on the cost of this and put up four comparably dumb screens instead.
This “gender-detection prototype” would also let people control objects on the screen using hand gestures. Like playing a game. Again, quite cool. But that means the number of eyeballs that see the screen drop like a rock.
I give this one a big “Hmmmmm.”
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.