Feeds

Big Beardie's watching: Alan Sugar robots spy on Tesco petrol queue

Thought no one saw you buy entire cake, eat it in the car?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A division of Lord Alan Sugar's firm has launched a surveillance campaign which will see shoppers' faces scanned at hundreds of Tesco petrol stations.

Amscreen, one of Lord Sugar's firms, has installed the OptimEyes advertising system in 450 Tesco filling stations around the nation.

These devices contain facial recog technology able to detect the age and sex of customers, before beaming specially tailored advertisements at them. This means that if suddenly a number of women stop for petrol, for example, they could be shown advertisements for a women's fashion brand.

Once Big Beardie has scanned his targets, adverts will then play on a 100-second loop.

Simon Sugar, Alan's son and Amscreen CEO, said: "Yes, it’s like something out of Minority Report but this could change the face of British retail.

"Our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible.

"The OptimEyes does not store images or recognise people but just works out gender and sorts customers into one of three age brackets."

Tesco’s Peter Cattell said the technology was "the perfect means for us to enhance the customer shopping experience".

"It can be extremely useful and timely for our customers," he continued.

However, not everyone likes the thought of being spied upon.

Nick Pickles of Big Brother Watch issued a statement which read: "The race is on for retailers to gather as much information about us as possible, as personalised as possible.

"The very intrusive nature of this technology lays bare the lengths to which some companies are willing to go and how supermarkets see people as there to be tracked." ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?