New Technology Sees Your Face, Lets Stores Know Whether You’re a VIP


Miranda Kerr shopping

Just in case the salesperson didn’t know that was Miranda Kerr…now there’s an app (of sorts) for that.

The problem, if you’re a wealthy consumer, isn’t the global recession.  You’re seemingly inured against that.  The trouble is that stores know it, and they want you.  Enter a forthcoming technology from NEC IT Solutions, based in Cambridge, which tracks the faces of famous or very wealthy shoppers for its retail clients.

The system scans customers’ faces when they enter a store or hotel, compares them to a database, and lets employees know if they’re someone important (e.g., rich, a high roller, or prone to spend substantially).   The system will operate across platforms, alerting salespeople and concierges to the entrance of important customers via computer, tablet, or smartphone.  The technology is already being trialled in luxury boutiques and upscale hotels in the U.S., Britain, and Asia, though none of the testing locations have been made public, thus thwarting today’s plans to go find out whether or not we’re shopping VIPs (we’re not).

Desirable customers, take note — NEC IT previously developed similar software to identify terrorists. Presumably, tracking the faces of the famous or well-known wealthy shouldn’t be too difficult for the tech solutions company.  If you’re not a high-value customer, you get to keep your privacy, since no one’s yet bothering to pick your face out of the crowd (but good luck getting someone to bother helping your proletariat self!).


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