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Wal-Mart to use infrared to track shoppers / promotions

Darren Murph
10.03.06
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As if its insanely coordinated logistics system, biometric payment system, and (potential) RFID shelving weren't eerie enough, America's largest retailer is taking consumer voyeurism one step further with the use of infrared technology. In an apparent attempt to avoid the taboo "RFID" flavor of intrusion, Wal-Mart is hoping to sneak an IR system into its stores to gauge the effectiveness (and elicit more advertising dollars, of course) of its various promotions. Dubbed Prism, the arguably dodgy system was crafted by Coca-Cola, Kelloggs, Kroger, Procter & Gamble, Walgreens, and Disney in order to "track shoppers' movements around the store" and correlate them with actual sales in order to judge display effectiveness. The consortium of firms has coaxed the corporate giant to install a trial system in ten of its SuperCenters, with a much broader rollout expected to follow soon; so when making that mad dash to the Tickle Me Elmo eXtreme (or bathroom supplies) section, just remember that Big Brother could be keenly watching.

[Via TechDirt]

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