NEC Using Hair Color, Ear Shape To Help Digital Signage Guess Consumers’ Age

Written by Evan Schuman
February 11th, 2010

Barely a week after Intel and Microsoft announced their own futuristic digital signage plans—including PDA integration and analytics software linked to hidden digital cameras—NEC is talking up its own approach to digitally guessing consumers’ age and gender (plus counting them, but that’s so 1990s). Takeshi Yamamoto, vice president of NEC America’s IT software group, is quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying that the program is pretty good at getting within 10 years of a consumer’s age, that the program tracks a person’s age and gender but discards the digital footage, and that the data is aggregated.

“The program uses an algorithm that draws upon a database of thousands of faces as a reference. It looks at distinguishing points of the face, from the shape of the ears and eyes to hair color, to determine the age. The database expands as more people walk past the camera, allowing the program to make better judgment calls with time,” Yamamoto said. “The technology originated in Japan, where it was easier to implement because Japanese physical traits are more uniform. Mr. Yamamoto acknowledged that the U.S. market would be more difficult because of the diverse population.”


Comments are closed.


StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.