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State College's SiliconScapes goes eye to eye with in-store digital displays

When you look at digital advertising, you may understand  it. But it doesn't understand you.
That is the goal of SiliconScapes, a State College startup that last month won the $10,000 top prize at the TechCelerator@State College 8-Week Boot Camp for budding tech entrepreneurs. 
Kevin Irick, a recent Penn State Ph.D. in computer science and engineering, is developing SmartView, a smart-camera technology that can be attached to retail displays and advertising and is capable of detecting shopper posture, attention and gaze, as well as interactions with the product. With data on shoppers' impressions, ads and displays can be made more effective.
"We bring to in-store retail what online sales channels have inherently: the ability to measure a shopper's impression to digital advertisements and proactively display the most impactful content," says Irick.
SmartView measures advertising effectiveness by determining customer demographics, impressions and sales. For example, SmartView can show that five people spent more than 10 seconds each looking at an in-store digital display, says Irick. It can determine that those five break down into two men, ages 30 to 40, and three women, ages 20 to 35. It can study their facial expressions and reactions. And it can correlate to sales of the item advertised.
Irick, who founded his company in 2011, is in bootstrap mode, working on developing SmartView with several interns in hopes of a commercial launch next year. He has an unnamed Pennsylvania retail partner who has agreed to test SmartView.
The TechCelerator win was a major vote of confidence, he says. "It takes you from day dreaming to putting you in motion."
Source: Kevin Irick, SiliconScapes
Writer: Elise Vider
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