Facial recognition technology, which made a big splash a couple years ago but has been slow gaining traction in the U.S., is advancing in Europe. This week Amscreen, which claims to operate Europe’s largest digital media network, announced that it is will incorporate facial recognition technology from Quividi into its audience measurement. In addition to tracking engagement, Quividi tech will allow Amscreen to break down audience data by gender, age, date, time and volume.
Amscreen’s network includes 6,000 digital displays in supermarkets and other retail spaces, and reaches 50 million people per week, according to the company. The decision to roll out Quividi facial recognition technology comes after a twelve-month trial phase, and data gathered with Quividi’s measurement technology has already been used to improve the placement of screens and content strategy, while allowing advertisers to target retail audiences more precisely. Quividi says early metrics show 94% of store visitors look at the displays.
According to Amscreen CEO Simon Sugar the transparency offered by facial recognition technology (along with advances in the media buying and planning process like real-time planning) will make out-of-home advertising more accountable and therefore competitive with other digital channels: “Ultimately, our aim is to optimize our advertisers’ campaigns, reduce wastage and in turn help to shed the image that Outdoor cannot be ultimately measurable and transparent.”
Quividi isn’t the only player in the European facial recognition market. In September 2012 TruMedia said it won a contract with a large (2,500-venue) unnamed European fashion retail chain.
Stateside, players in the facial recognition technology game include the Audience Impression Metrics Suite, created by Intel for DOOH networks following its acquisition of Cognovision in November 2010. Provision has deployed kiosks using AIM technology in big-box retailers nationwide through a partnership with Premier Retail Networks. In 2012 DS-IQ, which works with PRN affiliate Walmart, announced said it would integrate AIM into its Retail Media Platform. Meanwhile a Nashville agency, Redpepper, has experimented with facial recognition technology with its FaceDeals service, which recognizes opted-in consumers by matching their image with Facebook.