Facing The Who’s Watching Challenge

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Friday, June 1, 2007 16:33

Hopefully most of you (in the UK at least) will have a subscription to the incredibly useful DDR magazine*

Here’s an interesting and well written article from the April/May DDR edition on one of the challenges facing the industry – “Facing The Who’s Watching Challenge”

* DDR magazine is available, FREE OF CHARGE, if you are working in the retail sector and are based within the United Kingdom.



Facing The Who’s Watching Challenge

There’s an audience measurement system for digital signage on the scene heralding revolution. It may well change the way out of home advertising is measured. John Taylor gets a view.

Capture from TruMedia is an advanced video imaging system that automatically detects, tracks and counts viewers faces. That makes it an ideal tool to deliver important management data on exactly what response your digital screen network is actually achieving at every screen on the network for you. TruMedia Technologies develops computer based imaging systems that deliver accurate viewing measurements for out of- home advertising on posters, digital signs, TV monitors, display windows and in-store product displays.
Addressing the digital signage, in-store advertising and out-of-home TV markets, as well as product display in windows and point of purchase locations, the company builds on proprietary video analytics to detect and track viewers’ faces in order to measure true visual exposure of media and merchandise. Following six years of R&D, within Mate Intelligent Video in video based face detection, tracking and recognition, the TruMedia team reckons to have created a unique product for the out of home advertising and product promotion markets. iCapture is said to be a breakthrough in video analytics technology, providing accurate real time audience counts and analysis for digital signage.

“This revolutionary technology will change the face of out of home digital advertising, just as Nielsen Media Research revolutionised the TV advertising market,” says Moti Gura, TruMedia’s CEO. “Outdoor advertising, unlike other major media, has traditionally lacked reliable audience measurement tools, relying mostly on trends and people counters to analyse effectiveness. With iCapture, companies can now know exactly how many people watched their ad, how long they were watching for and what they were looking at.” According to Moti Gura, iCapture is the next logical step as the digital signage industry booms. “With the introduction of real audience measurement data,” he adds, “out of home advertising spaces can be billed based on true exposure rates and digital content can be changed in real time and targeted to the current viewing audience.”

iCapture generates true viewing data for digital displays and screens by analysing face images of people watching the displays. Relying on proprietary video analytics technology, the system automatically detects and tracks faces captured by high resolution or megapixel cameras. In operation, the iCapture system does not require audience co-operation for measurement or for gathering demographics and therefore provides, says TruMedia, true and unbiased information. Utilising wide angle lenses, iCapture swiftly and simultaneously captures dozens of viewers, using its Audience Attention Engine, across the entire range of the screen viewing angles. Viewers’ faces are further analysed in real time to yield business critical information such as true ‘face towards’ counts, individual exposure times and indicators for attention or level of interest.

An Audience Demographics Engine integrated in the software executes advanced video classification algorithms to determine the viewer’s gender, for example, as a part of the true media rating information. The data can then be further used proactively to tailor the screen content advertisement to the audience in real time, based on demographics or behaviour iCapture integrates with business applications via its Application Programming Interface and this provides access to real time data or to the system database information and data. iCapture is said to be easy to set up and operate.

All the operator needs to do, says the company, is install and orientate the cameras. iCapture does all the rest. Scalable solutions can be built with multiple iCapture units, says TruMedia and these are easily connected in a network, sending all audience counts to a central database and reporting server, from where it can be readily accessed by multiple reporting clients simultaneously, to generate, display and publish audience reports. Notaby TruMedia is fully respectful of audience privacy: no images, it says, are ever recorded, and no uniquely identifiable data are extracted. The system delivers true audience counts with a true count of impressions said to be to an accuracy that surpasses any other direct or indirect measurement technology.

Real time information from the system is detailed with iCapture reckoned to provide more than just viewer counts. Demographics segmentation and face towards time measurement, captured by the system, make for vastly improved media planning and targeted advertising. The system is proactive, providing viewer counts, behaviour and demographics obtained in real time and data can be used, says TruMedia, in the media streamer to select and possibly modify advertisements, tailoring them to iCapture.


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