Consumers have come to expect online marketing that speaks to them as unique individuals. First, there were those alarmingly ‘relevant’ Facebook and Gmail ads. Then, Hulu took it a step further by allowing viewers to choose the sponsors and formats of the ads they want to see. Now, that concept is going to Minority Report-style extremes,
steady flow of facial recognition platforms raises the personalization bar even higher.
Kraft’s Meal Planning Solution
: Knowing that grocery shoppers find it difficult to map out meal plans, Kraft teamed up with Intel on an interactive, in-store kiosk
to aid consumers in menu-minded aisle navigation. Dubbed the “Meal Planning Solution,” the display scans users’ faces to detect age and gender; the profile is then used to determine which recipes might interest that person. Reportedly, the technology is 86% accurate in determining gender and 70% accurate in determining age for adults. Since there’s no assurance that that the machine will recommend boxed mac-and-cheese for faces that appear strained by the trials of parenthood, shoppers whose premature wrinkles may be misinterpreted can use their grocery store loyalty cards to tell the machine what they actually like to eat.
Forbes.com’ Facial Expression Reader
: Over the years, marketers have endeavored to trigger emotional responses from consumers in various ways. Now, brands may have a means of reading exactly what those sentiments are. Earlier this month, Forbes.com
introduced a facial expression reader application
that asks readers to turn on their webcams before watching video ads. Viewers can see an analysis of their smile and compare it to those of others. Developed by an MIT Media Lab
team, the app was developed initially to help people on the autism spectrum more effectively read emotion. So, while the technology is now being tested by marketers, consumers who participate also have the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to advance critical science.
: Will singles bars soon be devoid of mystery? Those who dabble in online dating usually make it their business to conduct online “background checks” on potential matches before meeting in person. In the future, people may do this immediately when encountering strangers in the real world. Viewdle is a visual analysis technology
that “makes [one’s] camera social” by automatically identifying faces, then offering links to those peoples’ social media profiles. A live view also provides users with an augmented reality tagging overlay that offers information about the people in their vicinity. Though right now this technology is intended for consumer products like cameras and mobile phones, an era in which brands use it to deliver targeted messaging probably isn’t too far off.