Sony is reportedly planning to introduce an interactive digital signage platform at CES in Las Vegas in January that mashes up gesture sensors, augmented reality, audience analytics and signage.
The Sony MITENE system has been around in Japan for several years, but a new 4K version will be shown and marketed in North America.
The display is not meant for home use, but can be used in banks, restaurants, stores and other public places. Sony first showed this technology at the HCJ 2012 (Japan’s largest exhibition for hospitality, food service and catering industries). The AR display with motion detection can transform content instantly, generating, for example wave patterns or star particle showers in response.
The Sony Mitene AR-display can detect a viewer’s face and instantly determines sex and age range, to play content that matches the viewer’s attributes. Besides recognizing faces, the system also offers specific image detection, to play content in response to certain preset images. This can be effective in deploying advertisements linked with paper materials.
The system has an immediate problem in that the gesture work is based on Kinect, which Microsoft is shelving. However, there are other sensors out there.
This falls squarely in the realm of stupid people tricks. I don’t know why people over the age of 11 would be spellbound by this, but there are many things out there that are wildly popular that totally escape me, (and no doubt things I like that mystify others.)
That aside, the big issues with this sort of thing are the user experience (as in “What do I do, and how?”) and stability. This sort of thing doesn’t tend to just work happily for weeks and weeks. More like hours and hours … maybe. It likely needs on-site minders to do resets and reboots.
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.