NEC's New Plasma Display Identifies Consumers


Ever get that eerie feeling you're being watched? Forget what your therapist told you, you have every right to be paranoid. NEC Corp. has just developed a new 50-inch plasma display that not only likes being watched, but watches back . On top of the display sits a tiny camera capable of identifying a person's age and sex, and it can perform the same trick with a group of viewers. Armed with that information, the display can then target advertisements based on the predominate demographic. For example, if most of the viewers are determined to be senior citizens, it might show an ad for the Jitterbug instead of Apple's iPhone.

"Changing advertising products in accordance with the viewer would bring advertising closer to the purchaser," said Hiroshi Takahashi at NEC's solution business promotion division.

And he's right, but is that a good thing? Imagine stopping near a billboard with your longtime girlfriend and as you bend down on one knee to propose, the display starts belting out a " Viva Viagra! " jingle. Or Herpex. Interested parties need only hold their cell phone over a special device and the display will feed them a URL, coupons, and any other pertinent information, but depending on what's being advertised, you may want to wait until your girlfriend's not looking.

The 50-inch display will make an appearance later this summer at an annual festival in Tokyo run by Fuji Television network and be presented as an entertainment device. Visitors will know they're being watched, but will they like it?

Image Credit: Flickr Mick 0

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