Tesco has announced they will be installing face scanning technology at the till in each of their petrol stations throughout the UK.
Although this technology has been around for a while, Tesco are pioneers in integrating it into their everyday marketing strategy. Provided by tech firm Amscreen, the scanner will detect the average age and gender of the customer and present on-screen advertising according to their demographic.
Different from facial recognition technology, it doesn’t collect and store the data of an individual person. Despite this fact, there are arguments about the ethical values behind the technology with fears of the data being used for the wrong reasons, comparing it to futuristic films such as the film Minority Report. Who is going to monitor it, will they advance to personal recognition and how do you know it’s there?
Currently, the reality is that this is only a branch away from online data collection. Each time a new user logs into an account, they often provide far more information than the face scanners will monitor. Facebook for instance has been using online data collection such as interests, location, age and gender to funnel advertising to a target audience.
Most companies don’t have the bottomless marketing budget as Tesco and Facebook, but this advance in technology is yet another example of how it can be used to tailor your digital advertising to your target market.
As we stand at the end of 2013, with a futuristic (if a little scary) leap in the use of technology for marketing purposes, we don’t all need face scanners to improve business, but it does underline the importance of how data can be used to customise a clients/customers experience. These type of marketing techniques are already available for web, mobile and email communication, the clever bit, is how?
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