During this holiday season you will probably notice a massive explosion in the number of digital display systems posted everywhere as part of an attempt to get people to buy one thing or another.
Today, most of that signage is passive, but if the folks at Hewlett-Packard have their way that signage is soon going to be watching you.
According to Roberto Moctezuma, HP vice president and general manager for the Desktop Solutions global business unit, HP is testing digital signage that comes equipped with cameras that enable the system to track what part of an advertisement is getting your attention. The digital signage system would then use that information to display additional advertising about a given topic should the system detect a slight smile while you were looking at, say, the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
Some folks may find such capabilities intrusive, but at the end the day we tend to forgive vendors that bring us content we find interesting no matter what the format. And of course, digital signage that comes with cameras has some interesting implications for public safety, even though some folks might see that as an unwarranted invasion of their privacy. But as the law currently stands, no one seems to have the right to expect privacy in a public place.
Meanwhile, for marketers these displays could prove invaluable because once a concept found favor with a live audience, they could then expand on those concepts in other mediums. In fact, when you think about it, this is probably only the beginning of the marriage between display and camera technology. How long might it be, for instance, before your television starts watching you as well?