I wrote recently about what I felt are misplaced (literally) fears about Google. Particularly the fears of intrusive advertising.
Well if you want something to fear/campaign about, try this:
What RemoteMedia are doing is writing software which allows the screens to spot your gender and decide which ad might interest you more. And if this were not enough, such discrimination is soon to spread to race and age.Now that's 'intrusive'.
All you have to do is walk past the screen and it will recognise you for what you are; but being of a contrary turn of mind, I immediately have to ask how will the bearded lady fare, the pony-tailed chap? Apparently the software can cope with this sort of thing without turning a hair.
In cinemas we are moving towards foyer-based advertising and film trailers which will be selected according to the people present, big people, little people, sensed for size.
Go into a Teleflorist outlet and the software will spot your gender and play a rather mean trick: "If you are a man the ad on the screen will be for big bouquets which are probably about saying sorry and will cost a lot, the floral suggestions for women customers will be different. It's all powerful stuff," Jason says.
British American Tobacco have asked RemoteMedia to come up with software for a hidden system at point-of-sale to check whether customers are the right age to buy booze and cigarettes, the retailers themselves want the systems to protect themselves from prosecution.
The system can track you around a store and clock the way you walk, of your gait pattern, and, somehow, based on this, will be able to trigger ads around the store aimed specifically at you, a whole new take on "they saw you coming".
"It's gone way beyond generic placing on an advertising loop," Jason says. "Why not an ad that comes on as a door opens, for instance, when you are leaving an airport, it could be for a car hire company.
"You are rifle-shooting these days, the scattergun has gone."
A next version of Signagelive, will complement the existing ticker-tape facility for news and weather, breaking messages, with the addition of real-time video. And there's more in the pipeline, but as Jason says:
"We're sitting here now with our software waiting for the rest of the technology to catch up." So very Cambridge, don't you just love it.