Signs of the times: Digital displays go to college


Intel is a leader in the development of video analytics. A whitepaper sponsored by Intel provides much more information about video analytics, but here’s how a company website briefly describes the technology and its potential benefits:

“Imagine the possibilities as a person approaches a digital sign equipped with Intel AIM Suite capabilities. This software can – totally anonymously – gather basic viewer demographics such as age range, gender, and the amount of time a person spends looking at the sign. By analyzing the data in real time, the software can change the content of signs to align with the viewer’s demographics, meaning consumers can see more targeted, relevant advertising and advertisers can gather more accurate data for tracking return on investment.”

In the near future, digital signage experts predict, signs will be able to receive data from mobile devices using the open-source software stack called Android. This will allow cell phone owners, for example, to authorize a virtually unlimited volume of data to be projected about themselves.

A student carrying an Android cell phone, for instance, might approach a smart sign in a campus bookstore. Information transmitted from the cell phone might let the sign present a discount coupon now for an eTextbook the student will need later.

The discount offer might be based on knowing the student’s major and anticipating what materials that student will need next semester.

Intel representatives, as well as other exhibitors at DSE, were acutely aware of the privacy issues such scenarios raise.

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