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Sometimes it seems like the worlds of science and marketing are in a constant struggle to present us with the future described in science fiction. Whether its flying cars, the OS from Minority Report, or robots that play "rock, paper, scissors," the old saw is true: you can't fight progress. And now it looks like Yahoo Japan has jumped into the fray, with a little help from Comel, a Japanese company that manufactures billboards. The two firms are collaborating on electronic signage that photographs passersby, analyses it using NEC's facial analysis technology, and guesstimates his or her age. Once the demo is confirmed, the device spits out appropriate advertising content. According to the poorly translated press release, the "face image data" is then erased, saving only a record of the passerby's age and sex -- so you Civil Libertarians can rest easily. Right.

[Via Trading Markets]