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Published on February 8th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise


The Freezer Aisle is Ad Targeting You Now

Emergent Insight:

This cooler door technology shows how much technology can “read” of our actions, emotions and features. Katharine Schwab of fastcompany.com shares the details of Cooler Screens and how they can push ads that have a high potential of causing you to make an impulse buy. The door sensors are determining your age range, gender and more to calculate what products to display on the cooler door. It will be interesting to see how much personal data customers are willing to share for their new friends in the frozen food aisle.

Original Article:

Photo Above: Cooler Screens

Walgreens is using cameras, eye tracking, and motion sensors to show you real-time ads meant to influence which ice cream you buy.

I walk into a Walgreens just off Union Square in New York City that seems, on the surface, to be just like any other pharmacy. But as I make my way to the back of the store, where there are refrigerators and freezers that store cold drinks, ice cream, and other frozen food, the walls start to glow. That’s because the doors of most of these coolers are no longer the see-through glass you’d expect: Instead, they’re covered with screens that display what’s behind them using cheery, digital images and flashing promotions.

We live in a surveillance society, from the cameras that dot many street corners to the constantly tracking phones in our pockets. And soon, even the freezer door at your local convenience store will be tracking you too.

A startup named Cooler Screens is piloting a new door for commercial freezers and refrigerators that’s equipped with a camera, motion sensors, and eye tracking in six Walgreens pharmacies around the country, including the one off of Union Square. The doors can discern your gender, your general age range, what products you’re looking at, how long you’re standing there, and even what your emotional response is to a particular product.

The company says that the doors don’t store any of this data, which is anonymized, meaning that it won’t know that when you go to your local pharmacy you always buy ice cream (however, studies have shown that anonymized data, especially in cities, is possible to de-anonymize). Instead, it will use the data it’s collecting on you in real time to show you ads and promotions that the algorithm has determined might be relevant to you.

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Emergent Enterprise

The Emergent Enterprise (EE) website brings together current and important news in enterprise mobility and the latest in innovative technologies in the business world. The articles are hand selected by Emergent Enterprise and not the result of automated electronic aggregating. The site is designed to be a one-stop shop for anyone who has an ongoing interest in how technology is changing how the world does business and how it affects the workforce from the shop floor to the top floor. EE encourages visitor contributions and participation through comments, social media activity and ratings.

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