A Billboard With a Brain

Artificial intelligence software for in-store retailers and advertisers to deliver tailored messages to customers in real-time with digital signs. Ads can learn and get smarter. - Immersive Labs

This is the idea behind a startup that has garnered the attention of both the marketing and the tech world recently. Immersive, was listed as one of the top TechStars NYC Startups you need to know about by the Business Insider. The idea behind Immersive's first solution is simple, it is a billboard with a brain. Using facial recognition and location-based technology, this billboard will deliver an ad that is customized to you and relevant to your location. Here is how Mashable describes the billboard: 

"If a young man is looking at an ad, for instance, the billboard will know to show an aftershave ad instead of a tampon ad. If the room is loud, it might not show an ad that has an audio component. If Twitter or Foursquare data indicate that there’s a sports game going on in the area, it might show a Nike ad instead of a FedEx ad."

I am sure there are many different applications one could think of for this fascinating techology; however, I am going to focus on 2 ways it could dramatically change your experience in a mall:

1. A recommendation engine - Picture yourself as a young male, you walk past the billboard and it delivers you an ad for running shoes. If the billboard senses you have been starting at it for more than a set amount of time, it now even goes a step further to tell you the different stores in the mall that carry this running shoe in stock and ... at what price! 

2. A coupon dispenser - Picture yourself as a young female, you walk past the billboard and it delivers you an ad for a hair salon. Once it has sensed you are interested (you've been staring for a set amount of time) it displays a QR code. Naturally, you whip out your phone and scan the QR code... then through the magic of marketing, the QR code reveals itself to be a coupon for 15% off your next haircut at this salon! 

Might this creep people out? Possibly. Is this a future we will soon be living in? Undoubtedly.