By early fall, a billboard in Tokyo will automatically identify the make and model of vehicles driving by it to display a targeted advertisement.
“The ad could come up with ‘Hey you in the Mercedes, you could be driving this [instead],'” said Paul Turner, chief marketing officer with Cloudian, which is working with the Japanese company Dentsu on the project.
A camera on the billboard will look hundreds of meters down the expressway to identify vehicles and present a corresponding ad for about five seconds. By targeting ads to specific types of vehicles, the companies should be able to charge a higher rate to advertisers.
Highly-targeted ads are the norm while we browse the web and use apps, but such approaches have not largely entered the broader world yet. This approach, which is reminiscent of the sci-fi thriller Minority Report, is a reminder of how digital technologies and the personalization they offer will increasingly creep into all aspects of our daily lives.
The two companies ran a pilot test in Japan earlier this year and said they were able to recognize the make, model and year of cars with 94% accuracy.