You might recall the popular film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report. The movie is set in a concrete jungle with entire populations walking through shopping malls while dozens of cameras use iris scan technology to personally appeal to shoppers.
The movie created a futuristic idea of how advanced scanning technology enables brands to understand shopper’s behavior and market more specifically to their needs. This might have seemed completely out of touch with reality. However, with the current rate of how technology is advancing it’s no surprise that biometric technology is a popular advertising trend that is already here.
It’s recently been adopted as a Facebook application called “Facedeals” by an American based advertising agency, Redpepper. This technology allows for commercial businesses to install facial recognition cameras which enable them to recognize customer’s profiles.
Once a customer installs the Facedeals application and gives it authorization through their Facebook account, a business can install cameras at a venue’s front entrance giving it the ability to scan your face and match it to your face’s appearance on your Facebook profile. The purpose of this process is for businesses to customize their marketing efforts and be able to deliver more relevant and useful promotional and discounted deals tailored to a consumer’s personal tastes and preferences.
This can be delivered to your smartphone from all participating outlets with your approval to simply show your face. With a customer’s permission, the app verifies your most recent photo tags, using these to map the physical appearance of your face. Earlier this year in February, these high-definition face-scanning cameras were installed at bus stops in London in order to customize gender-specific ads by analyzing and determining gender type according to “specific facial characteristics of the jawline, cheekbones, nose and eyes,
This type of marketing naturally concerns the right to privacy, however, customers can be assured that they have nothing to worry about as the cameras won’t be scanning your profile without your knowledge and approval. It seems that this type of technology promises to avoid sending overwhelming advertising messages and only circulates adverts that are of interest to consumers based on the customized area of their Facebook “likes”.