Those annoying Minority Report billboards are almost here

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

Remember those annoying billboards in Minority Report, the ones that would shout out personalized ads to Tom Cruise as he walked by? Made you glad it was only a movie, right? Unfortunately, according to the London Telegraph, that technology will be launched in the U.S. later this year, and if everything works out it could soon be introduced in other parts of the world as well.

Engineers at the Japanese electronics company NEC have developed a billboard that uses cameras to instantly identify a shopper's age and gender. The face-recognition system, called the Next Generation Digital Signage Solution, then offers consumers a product it thinks is suited to their demographic.

The technology is currently being tested in major shopping malls in Japan. NEC said that as a person walks by, their personal information, including their age to within 10 years and gender, is sent to an internal computer using face-recognition software.

Takeshi Yamamoto, the company's vice president of strategic alliances, admitted that some had expressed concern about the technology's privacy but said it would not abuse the information.

Are you ready for a Minority Report future?

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