'Minority Report' Billboards Are Coming

WINCHESTER, England, Aug. 2 (UPI) — Billboards like those depicted in the film “Minority Report” that “recognized” Tom Cruise’s character to deliver targeted ads may be here soon, scientists say.

Researchers at an IBM laboratory near Winchester, England, say they are working on technology that will have consumers being shown tailor made ads based on their personal interests, The Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.


Digital advertising screens are showing up in train stations, on bus stops and on the sides of buildings, although for now they only show generic ads, the newspaper said.

The technology would make use of wireless technology tags, knows as RFID chips, increasingly being used in transport passes, credit cards, cellphones and other personal devices.

If the chips were encoded with personal information, digital advertising billboards could identify people as they passed by and display advertising based on shopping habits and personal preferences, researchers say.

Japanese engineers have already developed a billboard capable of identifying shoppers’ age and gender as they walk past, using cameras and facial recognition software, to offer products more accurately suited to them, the newspaper said.

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