NEC Corp says it has developed a new plasma display that can instantly identify people’s sex or age range and target them with advertisements to suit them. The 50-inch (127-cm) display is being demonstrated at an annual festival in Tokyo run by Fuji Television network. The event, which runs through Aug 31, drew more than four million visitors last summer.
A camera on top of the display recognizes on-the-spot the age and sex of viewers who are standing in front of it.
If the device finds viewers are predominantly female in their 20s, it will show cute miscellaneous items sold by Fuji Television for young women or an NEC cell phone designed for the demographic.
“Conventional advertisements may show cell phones for young women to men over 60,” said Hiroshi Takahashi at NEC’s solution business promotion division.
“Changing advertising products in accordance with the viewer would bring advertising closer to the purchaser,” he said.
The system is presented as entertainment at the Fuji event, with visitors knowing they are being watched, Takahashi said.
But the system is seen as having growth potential as companies struggle to win the attention of customers who are increasingly bombarded by advertisements throughout the day.
Those who are interested in what is being advertised can hold their cell phones over a special device, which feeds them a URL link, coupons and other information on the products.
Advertisers can tell whether the promotion has been effective by checking whether viewers visited their stores or made purchases.