Retailers Experiment With Surveillance Tools Used By Police

by MR Magazine Staff

“It was magical, it was a moment in history,” recalls Joseph Atick of the day in 1994 when the computer he and colleagues at Rockefeller University had built was able to recognize its masters’ faces. As each of the three mathematicians introduced themselves, a metallic voice responded, “I see Joseph. … I see Paul. … I see Norman.” Atick, who now chairs an organization that promotes identification technologies, says, “We didn’t realize what we’d just done.” Fast-forward two decades and picture a talking mannequin that greets a shopper by name as she enters a favorite store, informing her that pants that match the blouse she bought a week earlier have just been marked down. “It’s just a matter of time until we start to see this technology reach shopping malls and beyond—it’s ready right now,” says Werner Goertz, a Gartner analyst who has authored a report on the adoption of facial recognition and other surveillance tools by retailers, casinos, and theme parks. Read more at Bloomberg.