Audience analytics and measurement system gives digital signage an extra edge

NEC Display Solutions Europe has launched FieldAnalyst, a system that automatically detects human faces from images captured by video cameras for use in digital signage and traffic analysis.

FieldAnalyst can process these images to estimate the number of visitors and exits, gender and age group, which are digitised for output in real-time. This enables users to automatically conduct various types of marketing analysis - which would have previously required manual intervention - including real-time analysis of visitors and advertising effectiveness. There are two different versions of FieldAnalyst available: Gate, a version specialised in counting only and Signage, a more advanced version to access the additional analysis.

FieldAnalyst works on a biometric basis and utilising real-time sensing to provide anonymous video analytics. The output of the analysis can be used immediately to alter the content being shown to best match the audience, as well as for reporting, statistics or later analysis. Estimated distance and how much time spent looking towards the camera both are also measured, providing important statistics around engagement and interest. For simple integration of sensor and software solutions such as the FieldAnalyst into digital signage and interactive applications NEC will introduce the leafengine at the end of this year: middleware software which will support integration of a number of sensor and software solutions via one standardised interface.

NEC's FieldAnalyst application helps advertisers and network owners to analyse the effectiveness of their campaigns and improve revenue. This is done by providing vital information, such as what types of content work best at a particular time of the day, if passers-by are actually looking at digital signage installations, how many people are entering a store and what age groups they fall into.

The system provides comparable levels of accuracy as a human, but performs faster and consistently. Furthermore, FieldAnalyst meets all legal compliance regulations as no pictures are saved, only anonymised numerical data is outputted and stored.

"Companies spend enormous amounts of money on advertising, but it's very difficult to gauge if your audience is viewing a particular message, and if the right message is being put in front of the right audience," said Thorsten Wilm, Manager Product Management Solutions at NEC Display Solutions Europe.

"With NEC FieldAnalyst we can deliver a digital tool to measure the effectiveness of your digital signage installations. For DOOH anonymous video analytics will become the standard to measure the overall acceptance of successful digital signage installations.

Data from FieldAnalyst reports can be compared and contrasted with information from a point-of-sale system to help evaluate non-purchasing customer numbers, thereby helping evolve marketing strategies.

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