Minority Report Is Coming True, Microsoft Wants Stores to use Kinect to Recognize Shoppers

"My my. This is the third time you've been to GameStop this wee—" SHUTTUP.

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Minority Report is coming true because of Kinect! …Is not just a headline from when the Kinect originally debuted wacky hand-waving controls back in 2010, but is a real thing that’s happening again as Microsoft wants retail stores to electronically recognize customers using the gaming peripheral which most gamers don’t really want.

Despite being largely responsible for hampering the Xbox One’s performance as a required pack-in that no one really asked for until Microsoft axed it from the bundle, it’s a really neat little piece of technology. It’s found new life in the non-gaming tech world before, and this new proposal shows no signs of that trend slowing down.

In a blog post for the company, Tracel Issel, general manager of Worldwide Retail, Consumer Goods, Hospitality and Travel at Microsoft, wrote:

With the help of a Kinect sensor, AVAretail’s SmartShelf technology allows every interaction of a shelf in a store to be monitored and recorded in real-time, providing insight into which products are most selected and picked up by customers. Another form of technology, Path Tracker, gives retailers real-time detection and analysis of a customer’s shopping path. This provides counts of people in the store, areas visited, dwell time and shopping path, acting as a heat map of where customers are spending the most time in the store.

The NEC Biometric interface with Kinect Camera system provides demographic and face recognition services to a Kinect enabled application. Retailers can use this information for analysis and for providing the customer with a more personal selling experience. MediaCart will change the shopping cart as we know it. Adding a location-aware tablet to the cart allows a retailer to present a personal and relevant shopping experience to its customer. This allows context sensitive ads and promotions when in front of various products along with a barcode scanning capability for price lookups and basket totals.

It’s not quite a Minority Report retina scan, but face recognition technology used in the same manner is about equally futuristic/creepy. Although, I’m on board if stores have customizable options so I can make my virtual personal shopper shame me into not blowing a disproportionate amount of my income on video games, beer, and Funko Pops.

(via Business Insider)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.