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DOOH Signs Get Smarter under Intel, Microsoft

Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are envisioning a new generation of so-called smart signs that can recognize the age, gender and height of people in front of them. These digital signs could also serve as on-the-spot providers of raw analytics, conveying back to retailers what products and images have received the most attention on the store floor (via the Wall Street Journal).

The new technology would also allow advertisers to tailor and customize ads in entirely new ways, according to CNET. The mirrors and image analysis technology, for instance, could figure out a person's size and then show only ads of clothes that would flatter or fit the person. Other features could send a coupon for a product that the shopper touched on the screen to his or her smartphone.

Standards

Not on the market yet, these products would come equipped with Intel's latest chips, cameras, specialized software from Microsoft and other embedded technologies - as well as the hardware and software specifications for a standard platform to be developed. The point would be to hand off the actual manufacturing to OEMs, such as HP or NCR Corp.

Intel's CEO Paul Otellini unveiled prototypes at the Consumer Electronics Show, showing the crowd the 7-foot-6-inch device, which had a camera and two side-by-side displays - one a large conventional LCD panel, and the other a transparent holographic version with a touch-screen that displays words and images that appear to float in front of the viewer, according to CNET.

Other Initiatives

New technology such as Intel and Microsoft's 'smart signs' is increasingly characterizing the DOOH market - which has been projected to increase at an annual rate of 13.5%, from $2.2 billion in 2009 to $3.7 billion in 2013, far outdistancing traditional out-of-home's expected 1.4% growth, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Tava Touchpoins, a Vancouver-based company is on track to introduce digital media screens in grocery stores and other retail chains that will get shoppers' attention using biometric technology.

The screens, which will enable Tava to target consumers at the point of sale with ads - and also will use sensors and biometric face readers to conduct market research - is already in select Whole Foods stores. It uses audience-measurement technology - sensors and automated biometric face detection tools - to count shoppers who look at screens.

A measurement system provides audience analytics that break down how long people look, and parse the audience numbers by such things as time of day and gender.

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