Eye-opener – leaked email reveals the code behind New St advertising screens

Big brother, is watching you apparently. We’re all scared of the Bladerunner-ish techno future where the big screens outside New Street station target you personally with adverts that you ignore on the way to get a train. But how do they actually work? This leaked email from one of Birmingham’s many top PR/social media/smart city conglomerates could reveal all… 

To Andy Street
From: Andre.De.Jong@zaphiks.in

Re: Code

Hey Andy,

How’s the shop doing? Nearly time for one of those adverts with the anthropomorphism, eh?  It gets earlier every year. Or are you in charge of the buses and sorting out the ever increasing homelessness problem on the streets now? I forget. And you do too, also. 

Anyway, I know it’s a bit late but, I’ve finally finished the code that makes the eye screens around the shopping centre on top of New Street Station check the crowds and respond with appropriate advertisements. Glad we kept the PR about them vague, but assuming that the tech to actually detect faces hundreds of yards away and check their sex and age and that exists and is plugged in, this should work. 

It’s a Beta or maybe earlier than that, Feta or something. 
Send it over to Captia, yeah?

Best

Andre

X

10 REM *************************
20 REM *  NEW STREET STATION   *
30 REM *  EYE SHAPED SCREENS   *
40 REM *  CODE FOR ADVERTISING *
50 REM *BASED ON FACE DETECTION*
55 REM * (C) A D JONG 2015-7   *
60 REM *************************
70 REPEAT {
80 FOR N=1 TO NumberOfPeopleMillingAroundOutsideNewSt
90 X=AFaceInTheCrowd
100 IF (X=LooksABitLikeAlady) THEN (LADIES=LADIES + 1) ELSE IF (X=IsADude) THEN (BLOKES=BLOKES + 1) ELSE IF (X=CantTell) THEN (GAWDKNOWSWHATSTHEPCTERMFORTHATTHESEDAYS=GAWDKNOWSWHATSTHEPCTERMFORTHATTHESEDAYS + 1)
110 AGE= AGE + RoughGuessOfAgeOfFaceBasedOnThierTrainersOrSomething
120 NEXT N
130 AVERAGEAGE=AGE/N
140 IF (LADIES > BLOKES) THEN SHOW
AdForTampax ELSE IF (BLOKES > LADIES) THEN SHOW AdForFootball ELSE IF (BLOKES = LADIES) THEN SHOW TheSameAdForTrainsOrJohnLewisesThatsRunningAnyway
140 REM ***do something with age ***

150 } UNTIL JournolistsStopBeingSoDamnCredulous

By Jon Bounds

14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands 2008, subsequently not placed.

His new book about visiting every seaside pier in England and Wales — Pier Review — has been described as “On the Road meets On the Buses”, it’s out now.

Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama to be performed on Twitter and founded the famous blog Birmingham: It’s Not Shit.

14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands 2008, subsequently not placed.

His new book about visiting every seaside pier in England and Wales — Pier Review — has been described as “On the Road meets On the Buses”, it’s out now.

Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama to be performed on Twitter and founded the famous blog Birmingham: It’s Not Shit.

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