Immersive Labs has developed software for digital billboards that can measure the age range, gender, and attention-level of a passerby and quantify the effectiveness of an outdoor marketing campaign. Beyond just bringing metrics to outdoor advertisements, facial detection technology can tailor ads to people based on their features.
Founded in 2010 by CEO Jason Sosa, Immersive Labs has seven employees, although when we spoke to Sosa he was looking for more. “A lot of who we hire next will depend on where things are with product demand,” he says.
Immersive Labs is working on futuristic advertising displays like those in the well-known book and film “Minority Report,” which tailor advertising to the individual viewer. The company’s CARA software uses cameras and facial recognition technology to determine viewer characteristics like gender, age, distance, and time spent viewing the ad in order to then serve up the advertising most relevant.
Jason Sosa, founder and CEO of Immersive Labs, a New York City-based face detection software company, will take the stage during the Real Estate Connect SF 2012 conference, which runs from Aug. 1-3 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel.
Sosa, 32, previously founded Mind Spin Research, which created radio research software used by radio stations nationwide and was acquired by Troy Research. In a session titled “Personalized Advertising Analytics,” he will discuss what gathering real-time analytics data means for industries like real estate that are trying to target the right content to the right person at the right time.
Sosa responded to a set of questions posed by Inman News:
The iPhone was introduced in 2007 and like many others, I was one of the first to wait in line and pay the premium $600 price tag to experience this magical device. Since then, my life has been changed forever and I haven’t looked back.
Over the last 5 years we’ve seen the stunning rise of mobile technology. Smartphones and tablets are now taking over the world. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that we are entering a post-PC era. Looking ahead, Google’s project glass is a promising (yet unproven) idea that could perhaps change the world yet again. Maybe some day we will reflect on the silliness of people staring down at their phones while they walk down the street (or into fountains).
What will the world look like in another 10 years and beyond?
Here are some thoughts on the future.
Face Detection and Privacy
Since graduating TechStars NY last April, there have probably been at least a dozen news stories that have compared Immersive Labs to the Steven Spielberg sci-fi movie, Minority Report. In the film, Tom Cruise walks by holographic displays that tailor personalized content, calling out to him by name. Just like any other technology, face detection is just a tool, it offers a new possibilities for engagement and allows computers to understand the real world. For the most part, people want relevant content that engages them, enhances their lives in some way, shortens their wait times and enables them to have a better experience.
Recently I was given the opportunity to speak with a New York Times reporter about our work in developing face detection. The question invariably brings up the subject of privacy. Having had this conversation numerous times, I’ve become accustomed to giving a pretty standard response.
“Immersive Labs uses anonymous facial detection and can measure age, gender and attention time. We gather purely numerical data, no personally identifiable information is collected and no images are ever saved or recorded. We believe in an opt-in system that respects individual privacy.”