How I look may determine my choices?

Oh good Lord.

From Warc.com comes this:

Brand owners such as Kraft and Adidas are considering making use of facial recognition technology in a bid to provide shoppers with more targeted information in stores.

What does this mean? Imagine looking into a mirror and saying, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, what is the best thing for me to buy?”

Essentially, this technology will read our faces, determine our gender and age range, and offer product suggestions. The plan is to use this recognition technology in kiosks, vending machines and digital signage.

Can you see how this could go Oh So Wrong?

I am a huge advocate for cross-selling. If a customer purchases spaghetti noodles, I’d be remiss not to offer garlic bread. It makes sense for me and my customer. Me because I’ve sold an additional product. My customer because she will enhance her dinner.

But that kind of cross-selling relies on relationships. Chatting. Listening. Knowing who my customer is and what she might want and why.

In this case, companies such as Kraft and Adidas will rely on technology to determine who I am and what might appeal to me based on how a computer says I look.

I’m hoping this technology is spot on.

If I were a 23 year old woman, I’d be slightly offended if this kiosk tells me I might need adult diapers. A forty year old man might not be thrilled to learn he needs beauty cream. And Grandma might be traumatized when she is directed to the Trojan aisle (on second thought, Grandma might be the only one who finds humor in this).

If I am hypersensitive about my 40-something appearance now, this will give me cause to really fret. I’m pretty sure I would avoid this technology, or if I somehow get caught in it, might consult my SmartPhone for the nearest Botox provider.

I get it. Technology can be our friend. I love the internet. Q Readers, social media and cloud computing has, for the most part, improved efficiencies and opportunities in business. But might Intel be taking this too far? Is this technology too assumptive?

What do you think?

One thought on “How I look may determine my choices?

  1. Anne Wayman says:

    ahhh, the boxes are out of alignment in chrome… this could be funny or tragic… maybe a burka has advantages I hadn’t thought of.

    So what’s it going to do, look at my face and then shout Kraft cheese at me? Me who begs managers to turn off their audio ads in stores. sigh.

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