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Facial Recognition Technology Enhances DOOH Advertising

As technology evolves in today’s competitive market, advertisers are faced with increasingly diverse options when it comes to putting their message in front of consumers. At the same time, traditional advertising media such as television, radio and print are becoming less and less effective in capturing consumers’ attention. Advertisers, then, are searching for more innovative ways to get their message across. In many cases that means using some form of digital out-of-home advertising.

As a robust technology, digital signage can provide multiple rich media messages on a minute-by-minute, hourly or weekly programmed schedules, with real time updates to regional preferences, lifestyles, buying patterns and any other issues key to connecting with customers, such as local events and weather conditions outside the venue.

Digital-Out-Of-Home advertising revenues are estimated to reach $3.7 billion in 2013, representing an astronomical annual growth rate of 13.5 percent (BIA/Kelsey). In an April 28, 2008 DOOH forum sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, media executives named DOOH as the “hottest medium” today; spreading even faster than the Internet in its early days because of its ability to reach consumers when they are away from home and in buying mode.

A 2010 Arbitron digital place-based video study found that more than 70% of the U.S. population, or 181 million people, have viewed a digital video display out of home in the past month, while 52% of the population, or 135 million, have viewed a digital video display in the past week. The study also found that digital video in public venues reaches more Americans each month (70%) than video over the internet (43%) or Facebook (41%).

What’s more, Arbitron found that nearly half (47%) of those who had seen a place-based video in the past month specifically recall seeing an ad, while one in five (19%) viewers made an unplanned purchase after seeing an item featured on a digital screen.

It’s clear that DOOH advertising is a powerful medium for companies to create brand awareness and sell their products or services. Digital signage becomes an even more effective advertising medium when it’s enhanced with facial recognition technology.

Facial recognition technology is a software system that identifies humans by using a biometric system to detect and analyze a person’s facial characteristics when captured by cameras placed in a public place. Digital screens (typically LCDs) can be outfitted with high-resolution wide dynamic range (WDR) cameras to record images of people watching the advertising. The non-invasive facial recognition software uses those images to create data reports based on audience viewership metrics including: gender, age group, average attention time, and total number of viewers per month, day, week, hour, minute, and second.

As a result, advertisers who use digital signage enhanced with facial recognition technology can employ the audience measurement reports to fine-tune their marketing campaigns for the optimal return on investment (ROI).

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