Wait. Why "freak you out"? How is this different from, say, security cameras that are just about ubiquitous these days? Or are you saying that the images they show from inside your living room or kitchen, would be made available to anyone outside?
I expected the video to show something about vision algorithms, but unless I watched the wrong video, that's not what the video shows. It just shows candid video of people inside and outside.
You may call this is no different from cookies on websites, which keeps tracking what you are reading on the web.
But embedded vision has so much potential to offer security and safety features (surveillance cameras, ADAS, etc.). I think it's a shame if the"vision" industry entirely ignores the privacy issues. It's time for the stakeholders to start talking about the best practices or basic guidelines for embedded vision.
I guess there's much unexpected video-ing going on these days that this didn't strike me as particularly worrisome. I mean, parking lots and elevators, for instance. You have to expect that you're being monitored and recorded always. Also, tablets and laptops may use face recognition as a security measure, to prevent theft.
So what the hey, Junko. If the set-top box uses face recognition for something as trivial as ad placement, I guess that doesn't sound like an unexpected innovation? Although I'd certainly prefer if the add placement occurs only inside your home (e.g. multiple ads downloaded, selection made only at the STB), without having to send the images to some outside server.
@Bert, I am not opposed to ALL things about embedded vision.
But as Rich@ was saying, I would not like any box in my living room watching me, period. Especially, when they plan to use whatever information about me for their commercial gain.
I think we are so jaded about our own privacy these days -- we tend to let technology designers and marketers do whatever they want to do about data they collect about us. I want boundries, and I want to let technology developers and marketers know what's NOT acceptable to consumers.
Junko, in my post, I did say that it would be okay if the transmission included transmitting a set of ads to all receivers, and the PVR at home chose the ad to show, during the ad break. There would be no security issue at all. The ad placement decision is only done locally, at the PVR, based on what audience it sees. I don't find any privacy issue involved in such a scheme, because the image is not going upstream.
Quoting from the article: "Walk in front of a digital sign -- a gigantic electronic display in a public space. The sign, even before you notice it, recognizes your gender and age, then quickly changes the ad message -- to fit your demographic profile -- as you look at it. (Yeah, I know: shades of Minority Report.)"
Junko, you are currently in Tokyo? Go to any of the major JR train stations and look for one of the new drink vending machines (the ones with a huge LCD display). They do exactly what you describe. Based on image recognition the machine analyzes the potential customer standing in front of it and comes up with a suggested drink which might suit your taste. I was once told that the machine is even self-learning, adapting its proposals based on what previous customers actually chose.
I am fully aware of the vending machine you described -- a huge LCD kind. I have been also told that the machine is embedded with an image sensor. I haven't used the damn machine enough times to notice the different selections it offers, though.
Junko, it seems like the kind of thing you are talking about is the use of security cameras in stores to also provide information about people's movements that help store planners see what displays are attracting attention. For instance, the system can determine rough age and gender of the people passing by, then measure the time they linger in front of displays as a means of measuring market interest and the like. Right?
As stores are public places, and the same thing can happen if store employees were keeping their eyes open, I dont see that as being too creepy.
As to the system watching me at home, though, it had better not be doing that without my express permission. I would not welcome such intrusion as the kind of inserted brand awareness stuff based on my personal characteristics that you described. I might even change brands to protest any company doing that.
As to the system watching me at home, though, it had better not be doing that without my express permission. I would not welcome such intrusion as the kind of inserted brand awareness stuff based on my personal characteristics that you described.
"Digital product placement" in a TV program might feel like such a trivial thing to some people, but to me, it's definitely an intrusion. I am surprised a content owner would not object to that.
Yes, Junko, there is definitely a creep factor, but there is also an opportunity here for some fun. I would be tempted to mess with it a bit. For example, watch TV with a can of Coke on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and Pepsi on Tuesday and Thursday. Over the weekend maybe go with a juicebox. There are also possibilities for some creative anarchy. For example, set up an IR blaster that would blind the sensor.
If I remember it correctly, a similar system was used a couple of decades ago for deciding the TV program viewership ratings. A camera built into the STB would record the information about what programs are watched at what time. The surveyors would then collect the stbs from homes, physically and collate the viewership information.
Now that we have good communications back bone and the image processing capability , many of such innovations are possible.
The question still remains about the privacy of the viewer , because such things are done without the knowledge of the person standing in front of the camera.
But you cannot do such things to , say , the vending machine in a shopping mall, or a huge LCD display installed on the roadside. That would be treated as a criminal act whereas the act, of camera snooping on you, may not.
"But you cannot do such things to , say , the vending machine in a shopping mall, or a huge LCD display installed on the roadside."
Perhaps, but since you're already on "candid camera" the minute you step outside your house anyway, I guess I don't see why this vending machine or electronic billboard vision processing is any different.
I would agree that video taken in your home should not be allowed to go elsewhere, without your specific approval.
Shopping mall, parking lot, etc are all public places. On the other hands, they are private, being owned by someone. In order to protect the business and your cars, a survelliance camera shall be installed.
It may sound convincing. However, I believe there is a fine line between security and privacy. I can understand CCTV will help to capture the suspect of a burglary. Before the introduction of machine vision, a 24 hours of film requires someone to watch it for 24 hours to identify all people getting in and out of the store. With machine vision and powerful computer, 24 hours of film properly requires less than an hour to identify all people in and out of the store. So, the data will be out there and what can be done with it?
In general, if you behaves, you shouldn't need to worry about picture being taken. It sounds right. However, I am not too keen to having my daily activiity being log somewhere even though I haven't known anyone "stalking" me. Maybe, it is just me. The new generation doesn't seem to concern too much about it. In the world of social media, people are voluntarily logging every moves - checking in a location, posting picture of foods and of activity, writing down thought. All these information are being used to customize the ad. No one seems to have too much complaint about it. I can sort of understand it. Since advertisement is going to push to me, I might as well get something relevant. Nonetheless, I still feel some kind of creepiness grow around me.
My first thought is that this kind of technology would increase the amount of product placement in movies & series, but I'm wondering...
If that technology can replace a product placement made during production with anything else, the fee for product placement during production might go down. Instead of making product placements, producers might be interested in putting in no-brand objects in the movie, then let MirriAd switch in branded stuff on a customer by customer basis.
The market models intruduced by that technology might be quite interesting.