Garmin to use face-detecting screens to fuel outdoor digital drive

GPS technology maker Garmin is using facial detecting technology to garner insights on people engaging with their ads as they walk by as part of a wider, year-long drive to reach audiences in real-time through out-of-home advertising.

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Garmin is using facial detection technology to collect insights on people looking at outdoor ads.

The company will use cameras at 2,500 sites across the UK to collect age and gender data of people engaging with its ads. It will then use the insights to better target ads for its wearable tech products.

Garmin expects the platform, created by Lord Sugar’s outdoor media company Amscreen, to reach more than 30 million adults each week. Amscreen’s technology attracted some controversy last year when it was used by Tesco to target ads to customers at tills.

The activity is supported by social media content sourced from customers being displayed on screens. This will initially center on some screens displaying a real-time running tally of the total miles clocked up by people using its products to keep fit. Customers will also be asked to contribute “event-based content” in the coming months to promote the brand’s sponsorship of the British Open and Isle of Wight Walking Festival, the company adds.

The outdoor drive is being used to push the health and wellness messaging behind the brand’s wearable technologies with promotions focusing on how they can be used to measure steps, calorie intake and exercise intensity.

Garmin is set to launch 60 new products this year that will also span its automotive category. Outdoor ads will screen live traffic feeds showing alternative routes to motorists during congested periods.

The Garmin and Amscreen tie-up continues a relationship dating back to 2012.

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