Supermarket giant Tesco have teamed up with digital signage company Amscreen in order to install hundreds of hi-tech advertising screens which will be able to detect the face, gender and age of shoppers. These screens will also monitor how long the customer spends engaged with the advertisement.
The “OptimEyes” system will be installed in 450 Tesco petrol stations and it is estimated that they will see, and be seen, by seven million customers each week.
The data will be sent to advertisers in real time and will be an effective marketing tool, enabling them to tweak their advertising campaigns depending on what they find. Theoretically this means that adverts will be tailored to suit specific market sectors depending on the time of day, gender, age, and more.
Simon Sugar, Amscreen’s CEO and son of Lord Alan Sugar, has said that this “could change the face of British retail” but he insisted that OptimEyes, which was developed in conjunction with a face detection software specialist, does not store images or recognise people, and instead simply “works out gender and sorts customers into one of three age brackets.”
Meanwhile, privacy campaigners in Britain have said that the increase in personal data collection was threatening to spiral out of control.