Digital billboards getting creepier AGAIN?

Published on: 2015-02-05

How many times can newspapers suddenly "discover" all of these newfangled technologies like digital signage and face recognition systems that will take us closer to a  Minority Report-like experience?

Research firm PQ Media predicted today that the market for digital out-of-home media in the U.S. would grow 11.2% to $2.43 billion this year. Globally, it's expected to expand 14.5% from 2007 to 2012. That makes digital billboards one of the fastest-growing advertising mediums around.

Companies are jostling to provide ways to make these digital screens even more effective. That includes TruMedia Technologies, a Florida company with research offices in Israel (company motto: "Every Face Counts"). TruMedia provides cameras and software for retail locations so the stores can show different on-screen ads depending on the gender and age of the person watching. The company says it soon will be able to also play different ads based on the race of the person watching.

Our take:

When will people learn that we most definitely DO NOT WANT a Minority Report-like experience?  I don't know about you, but I'm not looking forward to the day where I have to cut out my eyeballs to have an anonymous shopping experience.

On a more practical note, while companies have been touting the ability to show different kinds of ads to different people for a long time, the current truth is that the cost of creating and screening that much content is far too high to make such a service valuable or useful.

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