In-Store Marketing Will Use Biometrics to Target Shoppers

rp_iStock_Face-Feature-300x225.jpgThe upcoming National Retail Federation (NFR) conference in New York City is going to show us a future retail environment in which biometric technology is used to personally identify shoppers and adjust in-store marketing accordingly. That appears to be the case, at least, with the offerings set for display from NEC Corporation of America.

In addition to a new POS solution, the company is going to be showing off its NeoFace Watch System, a facial recognition system that can identify VIP shoppers and known shoplifters. Somewhat more science fiction-y is an in-store signage system, developed in collaboration with Microsoft, that will use facial recognition technology to determine the demographic qualities of passing shoppers, and offer them personalized marketing based on qualities such as gender, age, and so on.

To the unfamiliar this might sound a bit unbelievable, but it’s no great shock to anyone who’s been following the industry; it’s just part of biometric technology’s gradual integration into everyday life, as we’ve seen in applications that scan the faces of audiences at comedy clubs to see if they’re laughing, or identify licensed drivers at motor vehicle registries. Could it be another step toward some of the more extreme visions of the future of biometric marketing? Time will tell.

January 8, 2015 – by Alex Perala