NEC Developing Minority Report Style Targeted Billboards

Ryan Whitwam

Get ready to kiss your privacy goodbye. Those horrifying billboards from Minority Report that know everything about you are one step closer to reality . Japan’s NEC has created the Next Generation Digital Signage Solution, a system that tailors ads based on who is looking at it.

This new system isn’t going so far as scanning your iris to look you up in a huge advertising database like in the movie, but it is guessing what you might like based on age and gender. The billboards will be able to determine gender and age to within 10 years by snapping a photo. Some are already crying foul, claiming the signs would be an invasion of privacy. NEC claims the ads would be anonymous and the digital imaging system would delete the images of people used to build the ads.

Do you think this is an acceptable system? It could mean you’d see ads that are more relevant to you, but does anyone really care about that? If this scares you, then start putting together a disguise now. NEC says several companies are interested in the signs, and they might make it stateside in late 2010.

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