Your face is being tracked

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Intel AIM Suite

Looking at digital advertisements has become commonplace in malls and bus stops around the world. A growing number of those signs are now looking back at you.

Intel's AIM Suite digital signs use facial detection cameras and software to determine a consumer's age and gender, and then tailors their ads. If an 23-year old woman walks by the sign, it might display an ad for a hair product. But if a 53-year old man strolls past, a BMW ad may be displayed.

AIM Suite is designed to detect broad age ranges: 18 and under, 18-34, 34-59 and 60 and over. It can also determine gender -- typically by checking out the ears. If ears are showing, there's an 85% chance the subject is male, according to Intel. The software cannot, however, record images or recognize specific faces.

But it does send data back to the advertisers, including how long a consumer engages with a particular ad and how far away they're standing from the sign. That can help advertisers understand the appeal of their on-screen content for different groups and decide how frequently they should change it. Static posters can't do that.

The technology has been on the market for just three months, but advertisers have been quick to adopt it. Brian Huseman, senior counsel for Intel, estimates that of the "millions" of digital signs around the world, AIM Suite is in a "low single-digit percentage" of them.

By David Goldman @CNNMoneyTech - Last updated December 13 2011: 1:55 PM ET
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