UK company Bidooh has struck a deal to roll out 3,000 of its digital, Minority Report-style billboards across central and Eastern Europe.

The company’s founder, Abdul Alim, was inspired to create Bidooh after seeing the 2002 Tom Cruise movie Minority Report, in which screens convey personalised messages to people as they pass by, the Financial Times reports.

Bidooh adds a control box and a camera to standard digital billboards. The camera uses facial recognition to see who is passing and the box lets the platform’s user tailor ads accordingly. Currently, there’s a delay of one minute before the bespoke ads appear.

The company used a screen at a shopping centre in Northern England, for example, and it was found more men than women passed the billboard on weekday mornings, and so ads at that time could be directed at men.

Advertisers are charged by the second and can either use traditional payment methods or a form of blockchain created by the company, using tokens called DOOHs.

Based in Manchester, Bidooh has 16 test screens across the UK and now operates 27 more screens in Bosnia and Herzegovina with Darko Ban–Bidooh CZ, its partner in the Czech Republic.

Bidooh handles the technology and provides the advertisers, while its partners contribute the screens and other infrastructure. Revenue is then shared with billboard owners.

The new deal, struck with Darko Ban and a Romanian firm, involves installing 300 screens initially, and up to 3,000 over three years in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Romania.

Globally, the outdoor advertising market is worth around £34.8bn. Mr Alim told the FT the new technology would open up the digital platform to smaller businesses.

“You don’t need an agency. We cut out the middleman,” he said. “It is cheap, accessible from anywhere and you can use it in real time.”

The company has sold more than $5 million of DOOH tokens in an initial coin offering, which closes on October 31. Bidooh charges 1.4 US cents, or 1 token, for a 10-second advert on the screens, or $28 for 2,000 10-second slots. At the initial coin offering price, advertisers can get 2,000 tokens for just $1.

Each advert had to be approved by an employee before going live, Mr Alim said, and only generic information on people was collected.

Sourced from the Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff