Face Recognition Advertising



A face recognition system is a computer software program designed to identity features and identities of people from either a digital image or video source.

Although face recognition technology has applications in security systems, several different companies are developing its use in advertisement.

The general audience for Facial Recognition advertisements can differ depending on the location and placement. The entire point of Facial Recognition is to change the advertisement depending on the audience, which can be very beneficial to its clients. The audiences for 3-D billboards can vary much more; these billboards are usually put in a high traffic flow location. Another vehicle such as aerial advertising has an audience of a large crowd or gathering of people usually pertaining to the location its being flown.



Several companies and organizations have already developed systems that are capable of delivering gender specific advertisements. NEC Corp as well as a partnership between Microsoft and Intel have resulted in software able to determine a person’s gender by identifying certain features such as height and physical features on an individual’s face. (Keane)

Researchers at Queen’s University in Toronto have developed a system dubbed Eyebox2. Eyebox2 uses infrared-scanning light-emitting diodes to recognize the red eye effect. In addition a pattern-recognition algorithm gauges the number of people that may walk by the advertisement. The system is 80 percent or better accurate in determining eye contact within 10 meters. It is also 96 percent accurate for measuring the number of passing faces. (Solman)

The reach objectives of Facial Recognition should be much higher than the normal vehicle because of its ability to change advertisements according to the demographic in the area. However the frequency of multiple viewers is somewhat lower because of the changing aspect of this type of advertisement depends on who is closest.

Eyebox2 Technology

Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research has researched a system that utilizes sophisticated algorithms capable of determining differences between male and female features. (Goh)


Face recognition technology would be mostly deployed in conjunction with digital billboards and digital displays in stores and shopping centers.

NEC Corp has deployed their system Eye Flavor throughout Japan. The product, made of a large LCD display, camera, and face recognition software can determine gender and age ranges, optimizing delivered advertisements. Eye Flavor can help companies in the future in quantifying the results of their respective advertising campaigns. NEC Corp has also developed a system that can send an electronic coupon to cell phones based off of the ad that was delivered from the results taken from the camera. (NEC) The companies Digital Signage Solution is not only a single piece of technology, but rather a combination of it and advertising campaigns. (Ogawasara)
Facial Recognition software is currently being used By Both Intel and Microsoft, speaking at a electronics conference Intel CEO Paul Otellini made clear his company's belief that digital technology is no longer chained to the desktop.
"Computing is no longer confined to your computer, it's everywhere," he said. "Advances in connectivity, intuitive user interfaces, immersive content and computer chip performance have allowed computing to move into new areas."(Keane)

NEC Corp's Eye Flavor Technology

Quividi, a Paris based company has employed their digital advertisements in Ikea stores in Europe as well as Mcdonald’s in Singapore. They have also installed their digital billboards in the U.S. in locations such as Manhattan, New York and Philadelphia. (Clifford)


Because of the recent development of this technology, thus its relative obscurity, it has not faced much opposition due to privacy concerns. However because of the controversy surrounding the surveillance cameras in use in Britain designed to keep watch for possible terrorists and criminals, the idea of additional cameras do raise concern, especially if those cameras and the companies that use them are capable of storing pictures taken of everyone that passes by their digital billboards.(Clifford)


Clifford, Stephanie (2008-05-31) "Billboards That Look Back"

Keane, Meghan. “In-store Facial Recognition Ads From Intel and Microsoft.” Econsultancy Digital Markers United. 12 January 2010: 1. Web. 22 Apr 2011. http://econsulttancy.com/us/blog/5232-intel-and-microsoft-bet-on-instore-facial-recognition-advertisments.
Ogasawara, Yousuke (2008-07-22) "NEC Develops Ad System w/ Face Recognition Technology"
Solman, Gregory (2007-08-21) "Making (and Measuring) Eye Contact"
http://www.adweek.com/aw/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003628518Keane, Meghan (2010-01-12)
"In-store Facial Recognition Ads from Intel and Microsoft"
Leonard (2009-01-17) "Soon, Billboards That Know Male From Female"