Hey it's Georgia!
Now, we've seen cameras in stores to make sure we don't shoplift, recently cameras even added in the self checkouts at stores as well. However, I didn't think I'd see the day that a camera could be watching me to see what I'm buying and collecting my information?
A new technology being tested for stores, are cameras that guess your age, gender, and even your mood as you walk by. Can you say creepy?! The information gathered by the camera is to show you "real-time ads on in store video screens". Companies are trying to bring this new camera inside stores to help compete with online competition, like Amazon that already have valuable information on their customers and their buying habits and history.
You may not know you're being watched. (Which is even more bizarre.) The size of the camera lens watching you about the size of a penny. I don't know? I get this new way of thinking for it's competition, but, do you think this is a bit intrusive? Pam Dixon, the executive director of the World Privacy Forum, a non profit that researches privacy issues says "The creepy factor here is definitely a 10 out 10."
At The National Federation trade show in New York earlier this year, demonstrated a 'smart shelf' by Mood Media as the shelf tried to detect happiness or fear when people stood in front of it. The information stored in the device could get peoples reactions to a product on the shelf or an ad on the screen.
Cineplex Digital Media displayed some video screens that can be used in malls, bus stops to try to see if someones wearing glasses, has a beard, etc. Which can then be used to to sell new glasses and razors. Interesting... Right now these cameras are in a handful of stores.
The supermarket Kroeger, which has 2,800 stores, is testing cameras that are in a price sign above shelves. This is happening at two of their store locations. One on the outside of Cincinnati and one in Seattle. TV screens attached to the shelves can play advertisements, and show sales going on. Kroeger has said "The cameras guess a shopper's age and sex, but the information is anonymous and the data is not being stored." If these tests work out well for the company, they could expand into their other store locations.
Walgreens, that has 8,000 drugstores, have installed cameras and senors in their drink fridge doors in six of their store locations. Instead of the glass doors that customers can see inside of the fridges, there are video screens that show ads and drinks... Not all retail stores/supermarkets are on board for this idea, Walmart and Sam's Club which is testing shelves with digital price tags, are weary of them. John Furner who's a CEO Sam's Club said "You don't want to surprise people on how you use technology or data.
It seems that majority of companies are still not convinced and are cautious about this technology. However, it seems like this is only going to continue and become apart of our everyday retail lives in the future. John Reily, Vice President of Commerce Strategy at Consultancy Publicis Sapient said "retailers risk offending customers who may be shown ads aimed at different gender or age group." However, he says he expects the use of these cameras to be used more and more in the four years. Especially as technology becomes more advanced, costs less, and shoppers become used to it. He did say "For now, we are still on the creepy side of the scale."
Oh, I already have to worry about being judged at what I'm wearing at the store. Do, I know need these cameras to judge me further?!-@georgiasmith87