Tesco Shopper Face Scanner Technology to be Introduced

Tescohas announced that it will be installing new screens to display targeted adverts to its customers across its 450 petrol stations. The screens are not as high tech or as important as the cameras that are attached to them because they’ll determine the adverts that are shown to you.

Big brother really will be watching when you go into a Tesco petrol station as the “OptimEyes” technology, which has been developed by Lord Alan Sugar’s Amscreen firm, will track which types of people are in a queue at any given time and then show adverts targeted at that demographic. Adverts in the morning could be for an energy drink but switch to a women’s magazine if several women join the queue.

The chief exec of Amscreen, Simon Sugar, agreed that “it's like something out of Minority Report,” but added that “this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible.”

Thankfully the new system doesn’t compromise anyone’s privacy as “The OptimEyes does not store images or recognise people, but just works out gender and sorts customers into one of three age brackets.”

Tesco are claiming that the system will see 5 million adult faces each week, showing them adverts that run for around 10 seconds on a 100 second loop. Peter Cattell, category director for Tesco petrol stations said, “The ability to tailor content based on time and location means this can be extremely useful and timely for interacting with our customers.”

Although no one at Tesco or Amscreens is saying it, this is clearly a dry run before introduction into the retailer’s supermarkets. Hopefully any potential issues are sorted out before that happens. Whether consumer groups will see this as infringing customer’s rights or whether this will be another nail in Tesco’s rival’s coffins remains to be seen.

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