ICU - the new interactive marketing solution from atracsys

A revolutionary interface using face recognition technology that gives life to advertising supports by adapting to the users

(PresseBox) ( Bottens, )
ICU is a vision system that takes the next leap towards natural and intuitive interactions with a computer.

The device uses smart camera technology to track a user's movements and emotions and removes the need for a mouse, keyboard, mobile phone or even a touch screen.

ICU (Interactive Communication Unit) has been designed to enable more interactive and more personalised marketing. The system has been designed by Switzerland based marketing technologists, Atracsys. The company has previously created the beMerlin touch-less screen and the atracTable multi-touch surface.

The system is capable of tracking body movements, head movements, facial movements and even eye movements. It is also able to detect characteristics including approximate age, sex and a user's emotions.

Recognised emotions are: neutral, happiness, anger, sadness and surprise. It is possible to link specific animations or events to each of this characteristics, creating a content that is customised to the user. As moods change over time, so will the content displayed.

Customized Content: ICU's ability to determine key marketing data (sex, age and mood) and then alter the information delivered to the screen, delivering content that the user is more likely to be interested in, is predicted to bring large rewards to companies adopting the technology.

Choice: The most important feature of ICU is the ability for users to make choices. The system is capable of interpreting a huge number of subtle signals to determine what a user is interested in, the computer will then display more on this subject. For example, by interpreting where on the display a user focuses, additional related content, such as animations, will be triggered; through just their eyes, users can decide what they will see and when they want to see it.

Reaching out to more than one user: ICU allows for multiple user interaction. The choice of the size of the screen and space available will define the optimal number of users who can interact at the same time.

The ICU system was developed primarily to enrich adverts and marketing methods. People are becoming used to accessing the information they want, when they want it and making people aware of an advert is becoming increasingly harder. For the same reason, holding attention is also more complex than ever.

The natural use of the system is as tool for Point-of-Sale advertising (PoS). The system can be installed inside the store or in its window to reach and intrigue those passing by. It can also fit in other environments, such as street advertising at specific sites, for example at bus stops, where people can be more receptive to advertisement. Conventions and events are also ideal situations to use ICU to differentiate a booth from the others and attract visitors.

The technology behind ICU can be used for virtually any purpose and can be adapted to the needs of each client. This is also true for non-commercial uses, such as public places like museums, tourism offices or public transportation stations. The limitations come primarily from the capacity to imagine interesting content and from space restrictions that will complicate features such as multi-user experiences.

Whilst the cost of vision systems means that, in the short term, ICU will be used solely for commercial marketing applications, its technology demonstrates what is possible from vision systems and is a truly innovative way of using vision systems to deliver intuitive computer interactivity.

ICU will be presented for the first time in a European event at the VISION 2009 show that will take place on November 3-5 in Stuttgart
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