Big Brother could be at your favorite store.
A growing number of stores are using discrete and sophisticated technology – including mannequins with facial-recognition cameras hidden in their eyes – to track shopper demographics in an effort to boost sales. Retailers say the marketing data technology allows them to cater their business to customers better, but it’s also raising privacy concerns.
Alfonso Perez built a system called Shopperception that Walmart has utilized. It uses motion-sensored cameras to track a shopper’s product choice on a shelf and the time it takes to make a decision. Perez’s business has doubled in the past year.
“We have evolved in the way in which we want our products tailored to our liking,” Perez said.
“The brands and retailers are using this information to learn about us, to learn about what we like,” he added.
But what about privacy?
Many developers of the technology contend their products don’t cross the line and say they’re far less intrusive than the everyday surveillance, such eye-in-the-sky cameras on the streets, that we’ve grown accustomed to.
“We don’t store any information about anybody,” Perez said. “We process the information real-time.”
Experts argue that the high-tech marketing systems are needed more now than ever for brick-and-mortar retailers because of the increasing popularity of online shopping.
Read more at CBS NEW YORK.