Vegas arena to use facial scan technology


Like the eye in the sky looking out for card counters in casinos, the new 20,000-seat arena set to open in spring 2016 in Las Vegas will feature technology that keeps watch on its patrons.

The arena, which could house an NHL franchise if a local bid proves successful, will use cameras to gauge visitors’ age and gender in an effort to target ads to specific demographics, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

The state-of-the-art facility is being built by MGM Resorts International and Anschutz Entertainment Group. Arena officials announced partnerships with Japanese electronics giant Toshiba and Coca-Cola Co. earlier this week.

Toshiba has acquired naming rights for an arena plaza, to be called Toshiba Plaza, which will feature an outdoor entertainment area.

Toshiba will deploy its audience measurement technology inside the arena, which will scan faces of those in attendance in order to tailor music, ads, and food and beverage choices to dominant demographics. The technology will also measure how much time fans spend staring at video boards.

Creeped out yet?

Toshiba chief marketing executive Bill Melo intimated that it’s not as intrusive as it may sound.

“We don’t record anything,” Melo said.

Could a regular influx of Canadian tourists help force some good Canadian beer and favourites like poutine onto the menus? Seems like a real possibility.

As part of its 10-year agreement, Toshiba will pay in excess of $1 million per year for the naming rights to the plaza space. Additionally, the company will pay upwards of eight figures for digital signage in the arena.

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