Tesco 'OptimEyes' Advertising Screens Are Just Like Technology In Minority Report

There are a number of things from 'Minority Report' that we'd like to see in reality - sleek automated cars, cool gesture-based interfaces, back-street eye transplants...

But the advertising? You can keep that. Having your face scanned and then being bombarded with personalised ads looked pretty annoying.

So it is with a heavy heart we inform you Tesco are installing such a system in 450 of their petrol forecourts.

As well as being a pretty awful pun, the 'OptimEyes' system uses built-in cameras to identify determine a customer's gender and age.

Ads can then be targeted at customers tailored to demographics. It can also tell how long a person looks at the ads providing real-time feedback to advertisers.

OptimEyes was developed by OptimEyes. CEO Simon Sugar (Alan's his dad), told The Grocer: "Yes it's like something out of Minority Report, but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible."

Privacy campaigners are understandably concerned by the news.

Nick Pickles of Big Brother Watch told the Mirror: "Scanning customers as they walk through the store without customers ever giving permission for them to be scanned in that way.

"There's a huge consent issue there."

There are some other potential flaws that may not be immediately obvious.

Paul Alexander, co-founder, Beyond Analysis, said: "There is also potential for disaster if and when the scanners’ estimations are wide of the mark. Starbucks came in for some flack when customers’ names were written inaccurately on cups, and Tesco is putting itself in a position to offend people even more.

"Imagine a portly gentleman being shown adverts targeted at pregnant women, or a short-haired woman being targeted with shaving products for young men."

Popular in the Community