The Wall Street Journal reports that YCD Multimedia is going to be releasing digital signs that use facial recognition to custom tailor advertising on the fly. The camera equipped signage will scan shopper’s faces and determine their age, sex and ethnicity, based on facial features such as the size and shape of the nose, eyes, cheekbones and jaw line. Once the system figures out who you are, it will serve up an ad for something it thinks you may want.

Is this a good idea? Judge for yourself, but this technology could get real annoying, real fast. It may be a better idea to create advertising that will ask you what you need (learning about you, the individual), and help find it, rather than throwing ads at you based on a set of assumptions about your “demographic”. Hilarity from the computer picking the wrong profile is sure to ensue as well. We’ve seen how accurate facial recognition can be.

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