Pickup artists at a bar will tell you that eye contact is everything. But on the sidewalks of New York, as in any city with a decent-sized population of crazies, men shun eye contact with lunatics to avoid nut-job diatribes, while women shun eye contact with construction workers to avoid half a block's worth of catcalls.
This is all bad enough, but now we've gotta avoid "eye contact" with billboards? A Times article looks at a new technology that lets billboards check out passersby. Cameras and face-recognition software determine the passersby's gender and age, then cue the digital billboard to spit out an appropriate ad.
In theory this "Automated Audience Measurement Solution" is supposed to prevent guys like me from seeing tampon ads and will spare your mother the NASCAR promos, but it's kind of sad when a billboard is paying more attention to you than that redhead with the Guinness.
(image sources: 1, 2)