Amscreen brings face-detection to its digital ads, gleaning age, gender and other data for advertisers

Amscreen brings face-detection to its digital ads, gleaning age, gender and other data for advertisers ...

Amscreen is one of the most well-known outdoor advertising brands in Europe, providing digital screens and selling advertising space on garage forecourts, high streets and stores across the continent and further afield.

And in yet another shift towards a ‘smarter ad’ for the industry, the company, chaired by business magnate Alan Sugar, is bringing face-detection technology to its screens.

Trials have been on-going for a while already, with the technology originally developed by audience measurement firm Quividi, to give advertisers more insight into who is viewing their adverts.

Check out this promo skit for yourself.

Cameras installed on Amscreen’s digital displays can determine gender, age, date, time and volume of viewers. While it would be really interesting to see this technology used to tailor ads to specific individuals in real-time, it’s really just being used for data-gathering purposes, so advertisers can gain better insight into who’s actually seeing their handiwork, thus informing future campaigns.

“It is time for a step-change in advertising – brands deserve to know not just an estimation of how many eyeballs are viewing their adverts, but who they are too,” says CEO Simon Sugar, Sir Alan’s son. “Through our Face Detection technology, we want to optimise our advertisers campaigns, reduce wastage and in-turn deliver the type of insight that only online has previously been able to achieve.”

This news follows less than a week after news emerged that a German firm is working on technology to transmit adverts via train windows when passengers lean against the glass.

With privacy issues a growing concern in the wake of the PRISM revelations, and fledgling ubiquitous computing technology such as Google Glass raising similar questions, it will be interesting to see how the public perceive this latest commercial endeavor. Though chances are, they won’t even notice.

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