The future of Minority Report and a world of always being watched is coming sooner as you think. Tesco has announced that it will be rolling out reactive ad screens at its petrol stations that are equipped with cameras to monitor customers and identify them by gender, approximate age, and thus target ads based on who is watching.
Supplied by UK digital media company Amscreen, which uses French-owned Quividi technology to identify key traits in individuals and relay information back to marketers in real time.
This rather spooky sounding technology can also measure how long people pay attention to adverts, meaning there's more data available to advertisers to make things far more effective. Think of it as a physical version of Google's AdWords, which markets things to you based on what you've been searching recently.
These screens will eventually be rolled out into supermarkets too if they do well. As it currently stands, their rollout in the 450 UK Tesco petrol stations across the country means that around 5 million adults will see them each week as they run 10 second ads on 100-second loops.
While it all may seem a little bit creepy, what with the advertisers monitoring how customers interact in real time, there are worse things out there – such as the London bins that target adverts at you based on your smartphone.
Personally I feel a tad uneasy about the concept coming to stores nationwide – just like I have an uneasy feeling about having AdWords know what I've been looking at on my computer.
Still, I can see and understand why this is a giant leap forward for marketing and brick and mortar retailers.
What are your thoughts on the matter?