Feeds

IBM to test people-sniffing tech in UK supermarket chain

Is it Safeway? Betcha...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

IBM is planning to unleash people-sniffing technology on supermarket shoppers, according to a report at beyond2000.com. The "Footprints" system equips the supermarket (or any other location you might fancy) with arrays of thermal sensors, which then track the movements of individual consumers throughout the store. Not a lot of people know it, but your thermal signature is aparently sufficiently individual for it to work as an identifier in this context. You can therefore be "followed" around the store, and it's manifestly clear that the store owners will be just gagging for extra information they can use to maximise the value of the data they're picking up. On its own, Footprints provides a picture of the routes people take when going round a supermarket, so the layout can be modified in order to make their shopping lives easier. Or data on standard movements can be used to predict an oncoming rush to the checkouts before it happens. But don't they want to know what people are buying while they're wandering around as well? Of course they do. Footprints is going into trial this year in an un-named British supermarket chain, but we bet it's Safeway. A while back IBM UK piloted a barcode shopping system in conjunction with Safeway, and combining that or something similar with the sniffer technology would leverage the store's info quite nicely. We're tottering on the brink of linking individual identities to shopping behaviour here, aren't we? But of course we wouldn't do anything like that, oh no... ® See also: SSupermarkets check you out

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.