According to an interview with the Wall Street Journal, snack company Mondelez International will introduce so-called “smart shelves” into grocery stores starting in 2015. The shelves, which will be concentrated at the checkout line, will use a variety of tools to identify a shopper’s sex and age. The machine will then use that info to choose an ad custom tailored for the shopper’s demographic.
The shelves should also be able to track individual engagement, and monitor how long each ad is watched. Weight sensors under the product holders will let the machine know when a customer has picked up an item, or is considering a purchase. Custom coupons can be displayed, in order to boost conversion rates.
It’s not quite the future advertising scenario we envisioned, but it certainly lays the groundwork for highly personalized, targeted video ads. If this tech is combined with wearable devices using, say, Bluetooth LE, the program wouldn’t even have to guess a shopper’s demographic. In fact, it would likely know their name and exactly what kind of candy they enjoy.