Feeds

Big Beardie is watching you: Lord Sugar gets into facial recognition

Most people's faces won't fit, we're guessing

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Lord Alan Sugar is building a huge outdoor network of advert-slinging, face-detecting cameras.

When complete, the bearded tycoon's creepy surveillance technology will monitor up to 50 million Europeans and then beam tailored ads at them.

The Apprentice star's company Amscreen runs a huge digital advertising network of 6,000 video screens placed in public across the Continent and Britain. The firm is in the process of launching a new system called OptimEyes, which will not only suss out who is looking at the screens, but just how effective the ads are based on the amount of time punters spend gawping at the plugs.

It's claimed cameras installed in the Amscreen displays are capable of reliably identifying the gender and age of advert watchers as well as the "volume" of viewers at any given time - The Reg presumes "volume" is the number of people looking at the adverts rather than an attempt by Lord Sugar to determine how fat they are.

The "unique face detection technology" was originally developed by "automated audience measurement" biz Quividi.

Amscreen claims to show adverts to more than 50 million people a week. Although Lord Sugar's son is the overall boss of the project, the man fondly dubbed The Hairy Walnut by El Reg is its chairman. Apprentice winner Yasmina Siadatan also works there and is in charge of selling screens to the NHS.

Advertisers often wonder how many people actually look at their plugs and worry they're wasting their cash on useless campaigns. The new system aims to make sure the ads are more effective, or at least flagging up the rubbish ones that no one wants to stare at.

Simon Sugar, Amscreen CEO, said: "Brands deserve to know not just an estimation of how many eyeballs are viewing their adverts, but who they are too. Through our Face Detection technology, we want to optimise our advertisers campaigns, reduce wastage and in-turn deliver the type of insight that only online has previously been able to achieve."

Amscreen has more than 4,000 advertising screens in the UK alone, placed mostly in "close proximity environments" such as forecourts, outside corner and high-street shops and around doctors' surgeries. Some 30 million Brits see the screens every week, we're told.

The company has also rolled out its screens into Germany, Poland, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria - and lobbed the following video about the facial recognition technology onto the web:

Amscreen sent El Reg this link for anyone who wants to know the "full extent" of Lord "You're fired"'s network. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.