Billboards might be about to get a little less passive, as a number of startups begin adding cameras to them to record just who is looking at them. Yes, billboards are going to start watching you to see if you're watching them. The future is now!
The companies claim, of course, that the cameras won't store pictures of you almost getting into an accident when you drive past that Victoria's Secret ad, instead just registering your gender and how long you look at the ad. But if there are cameras there that can train on your face there's no guarantee that in the future they won't somehow link up what billboards you look at with the profile stored on the internet hooked up to the picture of you that was secretly taken of your with your iSight camera. They'll be able to create a total consumer profile of you, the marketers wet dream.
I'm kidding, of course. That would never happen. People would protest as soon as the little invasions of privacy added up to something that large. Right? Right, guys?
But in any case, the companies behind this tech have visions of targeting billboard ads to specific demographics. You know, like Metamucil ads to old ladies and iPods to young men. Cool? [CNET]