Retailers using Face Recognition to track your identity and shopping history
Remember that scene from 2002 sci-fi movie “Minority Report”, when Tom Cruise’s character walks into a store, a camera takes his retina scan and a billboard calls out to him, “John Anderton! You could use a Guinnes right about now”? An advertiser’s dream come true! We’re actually not that far from that kind of immersive direct targeting and according to a couple of guys I met recently, this futuristic technology is already here and is being used on us without our knowledge.
Yes, you heard it right, now retailers can actually identify you by name, the second you walk into a store, just by scanning your face with a small webcam. I was extremely fascinated and a bit creeped out after hearing this, but decided to dig deeper and asked one of the founders of Primo Face, Ishant Singh, what exactly is this technology and why did they come up with it?
To which he explained that face recognition has been widely used for security purposes around the world for quite some time now and some retailers in the developed countries are using it to spot known shoplifters as soon as they walk into their location, so he decided to kick it up a notch and Primo Face, world’s first data analytics with face recognition was born. Currently bootstrapped, will be launching the product in the coming next weeks.
Primo Face uses standard low cost IP or webcams to view & match the faces of people coming into a store, against an existing database to determine if the person is a repeat customer or a known shoplifter & sends a mobile alert to the store in-charge instantaneously.
How will this benefit the retailers?
This technology is the ultimate weapon for traditional retailers to be one step ahead or at least be at par with e-commerce giants, now retail stores would also be able to track all their in-store visitors, including their purchase history, visiting frequency, basket size, lifetime value and much more with extreme accuracy and detail in real-time, exactly like how online retailers track every single activity of their website visitors and create a customized sales strategy, personalizing the whole experience for their online shoppers. In fact, we have got interest from large retailers from the countries like US, UK and Australia, for private beta-testing of our product.
Primo Face lets retailers identify all the customers who walk into their store, when were they seen last time, how often they visit and exactly how much they spend each time, they come in
But isn’t it a privacy violation?
Rajat Sharma, the co-founder of Primo Face, told me that they built it keeping the public privacy in mind, for Primo Face to identify someone, they would have to provide their picture along with name and other details, but if a customer refuses to do so then they wouldn’t be tracked.
Although Primo Face doesn't pose any threat to customer's privacy, but there isn't much left of it anyway. We gave it all up to Google & Apple when we bought that little tracking device, we gladly carry in our pocket. Guys at Google, Apple & the NSA know exactly what I am talking about.
I am not sure whether the benefits of using Facial Recognition in shopping stores would outweigh the privacy concerns of consumers, but it surely is a futuristic technology which seems to have come straight out of a sci-fi movie.
This new retail trend will allow corporate giants to play Big Brother, watching us in the real-world, even when we are far away from our web browser & the internet.
Is this technological advancement a step towards a digitally connected future or the beginning of a Total Surveillance Society?
Website: Primo Face