1. Market Data
November 4, 2013

Tesco installs hi-tech face scanners, targets suitable ads

Tesco has installed "OptimEyes" system featuring several hi-tech screens at petrol forecourts, which employ facial recognition technology to target advertising toward each customer.

Developed by Amscreen, a division of Sir Alan Sugar’s company, the "OptimEyes" system has been placed at the tills of all of Tesco’s 450 petrol stations.

These screens have in-built cameras which scan the faces of shoppers as they queue at the till to detect their age and sex, and judge how long they look at the advertisement.

The data is then fed back to advertisers to enable them to gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns and tailor ads during certain times of the day.

The screens in Tesco forecourts will show ads that run for up to 10 seconds a time on a 100 second loop.

Simon Sugar, Lord Sugar’s son and Amscreen chief executive, told industry magazine The Grocer: "It’s like something out of Minority Report, but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible."

Commenting on the privacy issues raised by certain groups, the company stressed that the scanning of customers’ images are merely for advertising purposes and will not be stored or ‘recognized’ by the face detection software.

Content from our partners
Advanced analytics and predicting market trends in FMCG
How smart predictive analytics is shaping product development
Data analysis in the brave new world

Amscreen claim the Tesco deal is the biggest of its kind in the UK since it was unveiled earlier this summer.

Peter Cattell, category director for Tesco petrol stations, said: "The ability to tailor content based on time and location means this can be extremely useful and timely for interacting with our customers."