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Minority Report style highly personalised advertising moves one step closer

Cloudian, a provider of hybrid cloud object storage systems, has launched a system which recognises cars and displays advertising appropriate to the vehicle, and possibly its owner.

Cloudian says its HyperStore technology-enabled roadside digital advertising project in Tokyo has transitioned from a proof-of-concept to production use.

Spearheaded by Cloudian, Dentsu, and Intel, the project employs artificial intelligence-based vehicle recognition using HyperStore’s object storage and deep learning capabilities to present relevant display ads to drivers based on vehicle make and model. 

minority report
A still picture from the Minority Report film, where the main character sees advertising specifically targeted at him

The groundbreaking initiative is currently implemented in one smart billboard located in Roppongi, Tokyo, and is projected to expand to other areas within the city in 2017.

Mike Tso, chief executive officer, Cloudian, says: “This technology demonstrates how Cloudian object storage revolutionises the economics of data-intensive applications such as machine learning, making futuristic solutions now a part of our daily lives.

“The world’s data is growing at an exponential rate, a trend that will only accelerate as IoT and machine learning technologies gain momentum. Cloudian strives to leverage the world’s data to create powerful new experiences for businesses and consumers.”

The Cloudian HyperStore-powered system utilises automatic feature extraction of traffic patterns and volume, and automatic vehicle recognition to enable the targeted advertising via roadside, digital signage.

The system currently recognises over 300 unique car makes and models.

Once the system has recognised a target vehicle, the smart billboard then selects an appropriate stored image to present a customised digital advertisement to the driver in just half a second.

Ads are chosen for specific vehicles based on requirements set by advertisement sponsors. For example, if a beverage company is a sponsor, the programmed system will select an image of one of its products from the database when it detects an appropriate vehicle to target – such as a canned coffee or energy drink for truck drivers travelling long distances. The system does not store or archive any of the vehicle photos.

With other possible applications including traffic volume surveys through vehicle differentiation and existing traffic cameras, as well as road monitoring projects for safety and security with licence plate recognition, Cloudian HyperStore provides many possible use cases for companies seeking to utilise big data storage and deep learning technology for similar machine learning initiatives.