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Tesco to install facial recognition technology at checkouts

Tesco has acknowledged that it is installing facial recognition software at its checkouts to collect customers’ details, and plans to rollout the technology ‘into as many supermarkets as possible’.

The technology is provided by Lord Alan Sugar’s company, Amscreen.

The system, called ‘Optimeyes’ will first appear at 450 Tesco petrol station forecourts.

According to The Grocer magazine, cameras are installed in digital advertising displays above the tills identify the customer’s gender, age and how long they look at the advert.

The information is processed in real time and fed through to advertisers, The Grocer reported.

“The technology also adjusts its choice of ad based on date or time, and monitors customer purchases,” it said.

“Retailers could run a Red Bull ad during the morning rush, for instance, and switch to advertising a women’s magazine if the technology detected several women in the queue.”

Amscreen chief executive Simon Sugar admitted that the technology was “like something out of Minority Report.”

“This could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible,” he said.

“Brands deserve to know not just an estimation of how many eyeballs are viewing their targets, but who they are too.”

Tesco said Optimeyes could reach a weekly audience of more than 5 million people.

Nick Pickles, of Big Brother Watch, said the move introduced “a surveillance state by the shop door”.

"People would never accept the police keeping a real-time log of which shops we go in, but this technology can do just that,” he said.

The Amscreen deal will see the technology in place for five years.

Source : Steven Braeburn - The Drum

04 November 2013
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