News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Community News Network

October 18, 2013

'Smart' shelves to spy on grocery store customers

If you’ve ever wanted to say, “The shelves at the grocery store are spying on me” without being accused of harboring paranoid delusions, just wait until 2015.

That’s the year supermarket supercompany Mondelez International (owner of such brands as Nabisco, Kraft, Cadbury and others), in conjunction with Microsoft Kinect, will introduce so-called “smart” store shelves that can “identify the age and sex of the would-be snacker” in the supermarket aisle, the better to decide what sort of advertising to aim at them.  

Tech journalists were nearly unanimous in their effusive praise for this brave new world of in-store targeted advertising. Brian Fung at the Washington Post said, “It’s not quite Minority Report levels of creepiness, but it’s getting there." Fastcompany.com’s Neal Ungerleider called it "the ultimate in creepy yet inevitable marketing tech.”

The idea is that, in addition to identifying the age and gender of consumers, the “smart” shelves will be equipped with weight sensors that notice when an item has been moved. Presumably then, when the sensors detect that a box of cookies has been lifted up by a female aged 18-34, various in-store coupon dispensers or display screens will belch forth whatever suggestions their adbot algorithms think will persuade young women to buy cookies.

Or maybe not. As we’ve noted before, when marketers try targeting campaigns specifically at women, the results tend to be clueless at best and insulting at worst (no, pink packaging does not justify a fourfold price increase). Maybe they do better at marketing to men, though we’re inclined to doubt it.

From a consumer angle, we’re not sure what concerns we should focus toward this forthcoming smartshelf grocery technology: “Oh, no, it might persuade me to buy more junk food than I can afford,” or “Aw, crap, shopping’s irritating enough without computerized sensors tossing asinine ads my way.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Raw: Black Boxes of Downed Jetliner Turned Over Israeli Aircraft Hits Dozens of Gaza Targets Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity