The newest screen in London's Piccadilly Circus can display ads based on what?

Answer: the people and cars around it.

by / October 17, 2017
A Spotify billboard in the UK. Spotify

The six large screens currently displaying ads in one of London’s iconic landmarks will be replaced later this month with a giant one capable of spying on the people who pass by it.

The company behind the screen, Landsec, says that the screen will display certain ads based on what it learns from hidden cameras stationed throughout the area. The cameras feature recognition technology that will allow them to pick up on the age, gender and feelings of passersby, as well as the make, model and color of passing cars.

The new screen will measure 790 square meters — the size of about four tennis courts — and include complimentary Wi-Fi for devices nearby. It will continue to display six separate ads as if it were still composed of multiple screens, but every 10 minutes a 30-second ad will take up the entire screen.

Fortunately, a Landsec spokesperson assured The Verge that the screen will not collect or store any personal details on what the cameras pick up. So, it’s only watching you in the moment.

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