Nexmosphere detects age and gender of display viewers

  • May 12, 2020
  • imc

The Nexmosphere X-Eye Gender sensor captures data about those standing in front of interactive displays and digital signage. This allows content to be tuned appropriately while complying with GDPR regulations.

Japanese firm Omron’s human vision sensor forms the heart of the digital signage accessory aimed at retailers, providing the gender and age of viewers.

“Retail is continually reinventing itself, and we are helping retailers create new and better experiences digitally,” said Hubert van Doorne, business development director at Dutch firm Nexmosphere. “A good and attentive sales assistant will direct customers towards products and promotions relevant to them. With X-Eye we’re now able to do the same with digital content. Our main goal with this product was to take a standard sensor and create a retail proof solution which can simply be connected with no set-up required. We were prompted to use the Omron HVC because many of our customers were already very positive about this particular sensor. It provides comprehensive and easily accessible information with no set-up, internet connection or software licence required, unlike many of the alternatives we considered.”

Nexmosphere’s goal in creating the X-Eye was to deliver a small, easy to integrate, non-intrusive unit that was completely stand-alone, with no internet connection or software licence fees. The Omron HVC-P2 provided the core, handling all the complexity of seeing and recognising faces, bodies and gestures, providing a value and a degree of certainty at the uart or USB interface. All the integrator needs to do is read the data output and programme the system to react appropriately. Nexmosphere has blocked access to the image at the hardware level, ensuring GDPR compliance even if the software in the unit is hacked.

“The main challenge of designing with the HVC-P2 was choosing from the many image recognition features available,” said van Doorne. “We focussed initially on the data that would most benefit marketers but are looking at expanding functionality in the future. Gender detection is valuable in ensuring that the right content is displayed at the right time, and age estimation helps marketers analyse the demographics of the person in front of their display.”

The sensor is part of the Nexmosphere XY range, a variety of sensors designed to detect presence in front of interactive displays. The sensor gives a level of confidence in accuracy of the detected gender and features adjustable settings including trigger levels and detection area. The data points trigger age or gender-specific content to be displayed. This is small, easy to integrate and non-intrusive with applications that include retail and museum displays.

The HVC-P2 is said to have one of the industry’s fastest image recognition speeds. It is an integrated module including a camera and an image processing board. It offers ten image sensing functions for use in digital signage, home and office automation and security applications, including body detection, face recognition, hand detection, age estimation, gender estimation and expression estimation. The module is based on the Omron Okao Vision software, a set of image recognition algorithms used in over 500 million digital cameras, mobile phones and surveillance robots around the world.