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Tech Report: Billboard Recognizes Who’s Watching

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The iconic Yahoo billboard along I-80 in San Francisco. (Facebook)

The iconic Yahoo billboard along I-80 in San Francisco. (Facebook)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Advertisers in England have unveiled a new billboard that can change its message depending on who’s looking at it, but KCBS’ Technology Analyst is calling it “creepy”.

The billboard advertising on behalf of children’s charity Plan UK is designed to display different ads to men and women.

Larry Magid said the technology behind the new billboard said it measures the distance between the viewer’s eyes, the width of their nose, length of their jaw, etc.

KCBS’ Technology Analyst Reports:

“All of that data correlates with gender, but it’s not perfect,” Magid referred to an independent newspaper that sent a man and woman reporter and the billboard got their gender wrong in both cases.

However, those who developed the technology claim it’s 90 percent accurate.

“I’ve seen similar technology here in the U.S. It’s not all that new and I think it’s going to grow,” he said, explaining that the purpose is to cater advertising to a demographic based on appearance.

It’s not an exact science yet and Magid said in his estimation it’s only about 20 percent accurate.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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