Ad tech can recognize gender - age next?

Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research has developed a gender-recognition system that could change the way advertising works in future.


A*Star's gender recognition system at work. (Credit: Leonard Goh/CNET Asia)

Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) has developed a gender-recognition system that could change the way advertising works in future.

The technology uses sophisticated algorithms to differentiate facial features of males and females. However, unlike Face Detection 3.0, which is used in point-and-shoot devices such as the Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR, the gender-recognition system can only detect faces that are facing the camera.

The A*Star-developed system was displayed at CommunicAsia 2009, held at the Singapore Expo. A representative at the agency's booth told CNET Asia that the technology is focused on advertising, so future digital billboards can detect the gender of the person looking at it and display the appropriate advertisement. The system can also track statistics such as the duration the viewer spends in front of the display.

A*Star also has an age-recognition system in the works, and its application is similar to the gender-based counterpart. However, Sony already has a similar technology for its Cyber-shot compact shooters, which can detect whether the subject in the frame is an adult or child.

At the moment, the gender-recognition system is still in beta-stage testing. The agency hopes to roll out a beefier version by year-end.

This article was originally posted on CNET Asia.

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