Tokyo billboards can guess your age, gender

Paul Raven @ 16-07-2010

The technological evolution of billboards continues apace. Three years ago we mentioned billboards that can track the attention paid to them; then there were the billboards that could beam directed soundwaves right into your ears (and your ears alone); then there was the suggestion of billboards that you could hit with a high-5 from your Body Area Network in order to receive more relevant ads. The next step? Hi-tech billboards are on trial in Tokyo, and they’re supposed to be able to assess your age demographic and gender.

This is another one of the arms races of evolutionary psychology, I suspect; the smarter advertising becomes, the more resistant to its more basic forms we’ll get. Or maybe that’s wishful thinking… after all, the only reason there’s money in spam emails is because people are stupid enough to click on the damned things.


Billboard hacking hits Moscow

Paul Raven @ 20-01-2010

Back in the final gasps of last year, I mentioned that I fully expected to see the new breed of digital billboards become a target for hackers and adbusters, much as they are in Lauren Beukes’ gritty Cape Town post-cyberpunk novel Moxyland.

However, I didn’t expect to see it quite so soon as this; the Independent reports briefly on a downtown Moscow billboard that was tweaked to display two minutes of hardcore pornography to an audience of late-night commuters. Remember, people: Everything Can and Will Be Hacked.