That moment when the changing room recognises you

What happens when cameras are not only ubiquitous but they also recognise you. So when you next ponder trying on a swimsuit or a trendy shirt will you find a synthetic voice whispers in your ear that “last time you bought something like that you looked truly awwwwesome. Buy two.” and then it mentions you by name and reminds you what you were wearing last time you visited. Cool or creepy?

I wrote about this in the Guardian.

Tom Cruise gets an eye transplant in order to evade face-recognition-based marketing. At least, that’s how I recall the scene in the film Minority Report.

The transplant is necessary because his character is on the run but wherever he goes optical recognition sensors identify and then assault him with personalised advertising messages. It is clear that unless he changes his appearance he will never be anonymous.

Which brings me to a survey of 1,000 UK shoppers by the retail personalisation company RichRelevance. Respondents were asked to rate a suite of in-store shopping technologies as either “cool” or “creepy”, and facial recognition fell decidedly on the creepy end of the scale.