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19 Mar 2006
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12 Mar 2006
Last week I had lunch with an old friend who designs and sells video chips.
He told me about an RFP they got from a large retailer. (He didn't say which one.) They want to install a grid of little cameras on the ceiling of their stores that can track people as they walk around the store, starting from when they walk in the door until they leave. The grid would be self-organizing, adjacent cameras talking to each other and handing off trackees to each other. It couldn't recognize people, although if you buy something with something other than cash, it'd know who you were from that transaction. This isn't intended for loss control (retailese for shoplifting) but more for marketing. They could, for example, rent a rack in a prominent position to a supplier, and charge them by the number of people who stop to look at it.But wait, there's more!
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