Engineers have developed the billboard, similar to one used in the Tom Cruise blockbuster, that uses in built cameras to instantly identifies a shoppers age and gender as they walk past.
The facial-recognition system, called the Next Generation Digital Signage Solution, then offers consumers a product it thinks is suited to their demographic.
Experts said the technology, being developed by NEC, the Japanese electronics company, would allow advertisers to develop more accurate campaigns that were suited to consumers.
But critics warned it was an invasion of privacy, a claim denied by the company.
Officials claimed a person would remain anonymous and that images of their face would be immediately erased.
The technology, currently being tested in major shopping centres throughout Japan, is similar to that featured in Steven Spielbergs Hollywood film.
In one scene Cruises character, John Anderton, walks through a futuristic mall with digital signs, which after recognising him start showing personal advertising.
John Anderton. You could use a Guinness right about now, one billboard announces as he walks past.
NEC said each billboard had a small camera with a flat-panel monitor built in.
As a person walks past their personal information, including their age to within 10 years and gender, is then sent to an internal computer using facial recognition software.
Engineers say the longer a person stays in front of the camera, the more accurate the data, that can either be stored or sent electronically, will be.
Takeshi Yamamoto, the companys vice president of strategic alliances, said the technology would enable advertisers in public venues, such as airports or shopping places, to better develop campaigns.
He said several companies had already expressed an interest in the technology.
"For digital signage that relies on generating revenue by selling advertising, there has always been a need for advertising agencies to know who is watching, he told ABC News, the American TV Network.
He admitted that some had expressed concern about the technologys privacy but said it would not abuse the information.
"NEC's Ad Measurement technology was developed to be totally anonymous, he said.
"While the technology captures data as it relates to gender and age, it does not capture or store any footage or information as it pertains to a specific individual.
The technology is being trialled in America later this year and, if successful, could be rolled out in other areas around the world. (3.10.2010, Andrew Hough) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/7411249/Minority-Report-digital-billboard-watches-consumers-shop.html