'Media Eyes' to watch over passers-by in UK city

Screens in Birmingham, England, will display content tailored to age, gender, and information gleaned from the mobile devices of people going past
Two of the Media Eyes will be located at the main entrances to Birmingham New Street Station, and one above a flagship department store.
Two of the Media Eyes will be located at the main entrances to Birmingham New Street Station, and one above a flagship department store.

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Next month, a new, all-seeing digital presence will begin to roll out in Birmingham, UK.

In a landmark deal with the country's railway authority, Network Rail, digital outdoor advertising company Ocean Group was chosen as the provider of three new 'Media Eyes' screens, which will dominate the main entrances to Birmingham New Street Station - set to open this September.

Part of a £200 million (Dhs1.1bn) investment in Birmingham’s infrastructure, the three full-motion digital out of home screens - each measuring 30m x 7m - will sit above the main entrances to the train station and a flagship department store.

Shaped like large eyes, the screens will display content tailored to the audience based on images of the individuals passing by and information gleaned from their mobile devices.

The Media Eyes will be able deliver content tailored to specific groups determined by factors such as the age or gender of those passing in front of the screen’s cameras. The cameras will also be able to analyse the facial features and gaze time of people who look at the billboard.

Furthermore, the displays will provide free Wifi hotspots that will help to gather even more information from people nearby that decide to connect, although Network Rail has stated this data will be anonymous.

Ocean Group CEO, Tim Bleakley, commented: “This multi-million pound investment is a significant addition to the Ocean portfolio in a prestige transport and retail environment. The Media Eyes will allow advertisers to reach premium rail passengers, business and retail audiences in one of the UK’s fastest growing cities."

The "full motion picture media content" screened on the Eyes will include a portion of community content as well as commercial advertising. The screens can also be used to display station messaging in emergency situations.

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