Sightings: Using audience analytics to drive restaurant traffic

August 26, 2010 by Dave Haynes

TechCrunch flagged a demo of digital signage by Japanese telecom giant NTT that shows some different possibilities for biometrics as they relate to screens.

Just about all the focus has been on audience counting, but this demo shows the commercial approach of analyzing how many people are looking at an ad for a nearby restaurant, and then going into the reservations system for that place and spitting back a dynamic spot that suggests a table for the two people standing there looking at the ad is available.

This of course assumes the two people are together, but anyway …

NTT has developed an “intelligent” digital signage system that not only detects the presence of human beings but also takes into account how many people are standing in front of it. For example, if two persons approach the display in the restaurant floor of a shopping mall, a camera installed in the ceiling right above the system immediately detects their presence.

But instead of randomly displaying ads, the system pulls information from restaurants in its network and offers up ads only for those that currently have enough space for two people. The system also detects if a person tries to walk away and reacts accordingly (“Wait, there’s more.”). It’s possible to get discount coupons on your mobile phone through the system, too.

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