Ad Company Wants to Know What You’re Thinking


5 Aug 2011
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Four years ago, Jason Sosa, the CEO of Immersive Labs visited China. There he came across a new bit of tech--an interactive projector being demonstrated, and he fell in love with the concept. This projector was, ultimately, the driving force behind the idea of the interactive advertisements that Immersive labs now creates.

Just this last year, Sosa put a team together in the town of Boulder, Colorado. The newly formed Immersive Labs churned out a prototype of the billboards that they originally wanted to create. To test the prototype, the company put it on display in a local mall and saw a 60% increase in the amount of time people spent looking at the ads.

The technology that Immersive Labs uses to produce its advertisements, Sosa said, is based primarily on an artificial intelligence system. The billboard uses an optional Webcam to track the number of glances the advertisement gets, and then learns what advertisements attract attention and which ones don’t. It can also tell at what time of day each advertisement is most effective.

The system also makes use of third-party software such as Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, and even the temperature and weather to further understand the demographics each advertisement is targeting to make the system more effective. Sosa even stated that he’d like to integrate something similar to Amazons recommendations, to create even better directed advertising.

But all of this new technology and directed advertising comes at a cost. Everyone is being watched by the sign. When questioned about this issue, Sosa says that the system couldn’t be safer. He assures that the system cannot invade an individual’s privacy. The camera only looks to see if an individual has looked at the advertisement; it does not remember a face in and of itself, so in that sense, Google and Facebook gather more information than Immersive Labs advertisements.

Source : PC World
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