Audience counting gets a yappy new advocate in Mark Cuban

July 19, 2010 by Dave Haynes

I just invested in a company that takes video of an area and can tell you exactly how many people are in the capture area at any given time.  It’s great for traffic patterns, security, and much more.  We are posting cameras in certain environments where anonymity is required, and we don’t and won’t capture faces or anything that could identify an individual.  We will simply provide incredibly accurate traffic information and patterns. A great application with great opportunity.

That’s the word this morning from Mark Cuban, the very in-your-face technology investor and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

On his blog, Blog Maverick, Cuban writes that he sees this sort of technology as the natural progression for location-based social media check-ins because it removes steps in the process. He suggests, for example, that some 500 million people have Facebook profiles and pictures and many of those would be valid identifiers.

TechCrunch thinks he is on to something, but that adaptation is still 10 years out.

I don’t even have a smartphone or logins to services like FourSquare, so I am not the guy to offer a valid opinion. But I love the prospects of a highly-opinionated (and not afraid to express them) guy like Cuban getting involved in the whole audience-counting and privacy debate. It will raise the profile of the issue and undoubtedly ignite some fireworks between supporters who see this as just a better way to market (assuming guidelines and protections are in place) and those who see the four horsemen of the apocalypse galloping over the hill.

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