Minority Report style screens, coming to a Tesco petrol station near you…


Tesco will install new screens at its petrol stations that select which adverts to display by scanning the eyeballs of queuing customers, says the Grocer.

Rolling out to all its 450 UK petrol stations in a five year deal, the OptimEyes screen technology, which was developed by Lord Alan Sugar‘s Amscreen will allow tailored advertisements to be run.

Simon Sugar, CEO of Amscreen agreed that the screens are like something out of Minority Report and told the Grocer: “This could change the fact of British retail and are plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible.”

OptimEyes is positioned by the till, scans the eyes of queuing customers to determine their age and gender, then runs tailored advertisments. The time and date will also adjust its choice of ad and it also monitors customer‘s purchases.

For example, advertisements for Christmas products could be run throughout November and December and Red Bull and coffee could be tailored for morning commuters.

Mr Sugar added that the screens would not invade privacy. “It doesn‘t store images or recognise people, but just works out gender and sorts customers into one of three age brackets.”

Nick Pickles, director at Big Brother Watch said there were problems with the technology and said it wouldn‘t stay the same.

“This won‘t stop at age and gender – the long game is about identifying individuals, and facial recognition technology is getting close to enabling them to do it,” he said.

“Given the number of CCTV cameras across Britain that could be adapted to use this technology, the potential to track people in real-time is huge. Equally, the commercial temptation to expand the data being collected is clear – knowing which other shops someone goes in for example.”

The new screens follows the recent tie-up between Westfield and Ocean Outdoor which used digital face recognition for a Macmillan Cancer Support ad to serve tailored adverts to men and women.

OptimEyes will reach a weekly audience of more than five million adults and ads will each run for up to 10 seconds, on a 100-second loop.