Facial recognition software will end privacy once and for all. Your face now provides marketers and the government with the ability to link that fabulous mug shot you put on Facebook to everything there is to know about you. That’s right. You thought you were just posting your smiley face for your friends to see? Not exactly.
Queue the music:
The government has some restrictions with facial recognition software, but they are spending a ton of money to figure this out. Retailers on the other hand have the ability to use your face to send you promotional offers – the linking between the on-line world and the off-line world. Europe has tougher rules (You need to opt in there), but here in the US, the technology is way ahead of the law. Even if you have never put your own picture up anywhere in the internet you can be found if you were included in any picture any one has ever taken of you. So yes, Grandpa or Grandma who have refused to embrace anything digital and still read the paper in the morning, have been digitized and are therefore searchable.
A company called redpepper (www.redpepperland.com) has started a program called Facedeals. Here is how it works. Facial recognition cameras are installed at local businesses. These cameras recognize your face when you pass by, then check you in at the location. Simultaneously, your smartphone notifies you of a customized deal based on your Like history on Facebook. Creepy?
Yes, there are companies out there today that are putting all the little fragments of your life together, both on-line and off-line to get to know you a little better. They might know you, but you will never know them. Minority Report is much closer than you might think.
An all time classic funny movie is Arthur. The film starred Dudley Moore as the eponymous Arthur Bach, a drunken New York City millionaire who is on the brink of an arranged marriage to a wealthy heiress, but ends up falling for a common working-class girl from Queens. Hobson, Arthur’s butler was played by Sir John Gielgud. Throughout the movie, Hobson banters in a great way with Arthur. Here is one of their classic exchanges:
Arthur: Do you know what I’m going to do?
Hobson: No, I don’t.
Arthur: I’m going to take a bath.
Hobson: I’ll alert the media.
Arthur: [rises] Do you want to run my bath for me?
Hobson: That’s what I live for.
Well how about the media alerting you to great deals available on products that you are interested in purchasing. Now that would be cool. Well it is here now.
Digital Folio is a web-wide shopping application that functions as a browser add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer; it also has mobile and Facebook versions. The application appears as a sidebar within the browser and lets shoppers make shopping lists by simply dragging a product’s link into the sidebar. These shopping lists have real time price updates which can be tracked while shopping.
More interesting is the application’s Price Compare feature. When a listing or product page is visited with Price Compare open (currently only available for Amazon, Best Buy, Sears, Target, and Walmart) it will automatically populate any eligible products into the sidebar and the retailer with the lowest price is highlighted. (This insight was sourced from our friends at www.retailnetgroup.com)
These capabilities are getting better all the time. More cash in our pockets. Now that is a good thing