Vehicle recognition technology drives targeted roadside advertising

Vehicle recognition technology drives targeted roadside advertising

Not just another proof-of-concept IoT project

Vehicle recognition technology drives targeted roadside advertising
Vehicle recognition technology drives targeted roadside advertising

Cloudian, Inc., a hybrid cloud storage provider, has unveiled a new technology-enabled roadside digital advertising project in Tokyo, Japan.

The project, which is led by a Cloudian, Dentsu and Intel, has transitioned beyond a proof-of-concept to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based vehicle recognition on vehicles.

Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage and deep learning technology adds to this by enabling advertisers to present relevant display ads to drivers based on vehicle make and model.

The initiative is currently implemented in one smart billboard located in Roppongi, Tokyo, and the companies said they hope to expand to other areas within the city in 2017.

Targeted roadside advertising

Cloudian’s HyperStore-powered systems works by using what the company calls ‘feature extraction’ of traffic patterns and volume.  The system is able to recognize over 300 unique car makes and models. Once it has identified a specific vehicle, the smart billboard it is connected to can select a relevant stored image to present personalized and targeted advertising to the driver in just half a second, Cloudian claims.

Ads are chosen for specific vehicles based on requirements set by advertisement sponsors. For example, if a drinks company is a sponsor, the programmed system will select an image of one of its products from the database when it detects an appropriate vehicle to target – such as a coffee or energy drink for truck drivers travelling long distances. Importantly, from a privacy standpoint however, the system does not store or archive any of the vehicle photos.

The power of object storage

The benefits for advertisers are obvious in this instance, but with the identification capabilities presented we can’t help but think about what else this technology could be used for. How long before it can be used to identify the driver and fellow passengers for example? And what about the privacy issues this creates?

It seems Cloudian doesn’t have ambitions for any of that just yet. Instead, it suggested it might carry out traffic volume surveys through vehicle differentiation and existing traffic cameras, which could help with congestion problems. Alternatively, Cloudian said the solution could be used for road monitoring projects for safety and security with licence place recognition. It’s unclear exactly what this entails, though we’d hazard a guess that it involves identifying stolen cars, for example.

Related: US advertisers prepare for IoT with ‘data excellence’ centre

Part of the big data revolution?

In a statement, Mike Tso, CEO at Cloudian, said: “This technology demonstrates how Cloudian object storage revolutionises the economics of data-intensive applications such as machine learning, making futuristic solutions now a part of our daily lives.

“The world’s data is growing at an exponential rate, a trend that will only accelerate as IoT and machine learning technologies gain momentum. Cloudian strives to leverage the world’s data to create powerful new experiences for businesses and consumers.”

He’s likely onto something. As a growing number of devices are connected to the internet, the opportunity for smart advertising will grow, too, and figures released yesterday by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) support this.

Albeit while focusing solely on the U.S. market, the research claims that 62 percent of American consumers own at least one IoT device, such as a connected car, smart TV or fitness tracker, and almost two-thirds of them are willing to receive ads on such devices.

While Cloudian’s technology is not targeting pure play IoT devices, Patrick Dolan, IAB executive vice president and chief operating officer, said growing familiarity with IoT devices was at the core of increasing consumer receptiveness to seeing ads on such emerging technologies, suggesting that consumers will become even more receptive to this kind of advertising once connected cars become mainstream. Though the ads will likely be inside the car by that point!

To see how the technology works, check out the video below.

Want to find out what’s in store for IoT in 2017? Check out our expert predictions on YouTube!