New patent for an old idea: showing shoppers custom advertising using biometrics
An analytics and security software maker has been awarded a U.S. patent for large AI-enabled LCD screens that display advertising customized to some extent and that changes content depending on how close a person approaches the screen.
The company is Vsblty Groupe Technologies, and its patent number is 11,481,809. Vsblty picked up $2.5 million in a September private placement. Together with an earlier tranche, the company netted $3.3 million.
Facial recognition algorithms would analyze biometric identifiers – signs of age and gender – and call up content designed to entice a targeted demographic. The touch screen could be a standalone affair or it the face of a vending machine.
Software would track people walking within dozens of feet of the screen and change advertising messages as they get progressively closer. The thinking being the first message would be something equivalent to “Hey!” The content would be more specifically enticing as people approach.
It is not a new idea. In fact privacy advocates are already sounding the alarm over tracking, analyzing and categorizing people in public spaces to sell ads.
According to the company, people’s privacy and identity would not be jeopardy because the system cannot infer identifying data from data that is collected.
The business model is not so different from advertising online. The goal is to get as much information (granularity) on a subject as practical and legal, get the person to interact with the content and be able to analyze the interaction. Vsblty claims the analysis can be done in real time.
The algorithm would be able to do more, though.
It could spot a shoplifter based on a face biometrics database of past offenders and spot a gun carried by someone.