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.
@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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.