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What: “…on the outskirts of Milan, I.B.M. is working on a way to mesh retail and technology that, if successful, will produce a new market for its technology and place biometrics — automated ways of recognizing humans based on physical or behavioral traits — in the forefront of retail marketing.”
How: “The I.B.M. solution, at least at this point, involves tracking biometrics through a mini camera in a mannequin’s eye or placed somewhere in a store.”
Why: “Once shoppers can be tracked, the next step could be advertisements selected to match biometric triggers: A customer walks into a shop and a piped-in voice asks if the jacket she bought last time has been satisfactory and would she like to see something similar from a new line.
In a variation that might be appealing to cash-strapped designers, viewers can watch a virtual fashion show, and then drag and drop clothing and accessories onto models to style their own shows.”
Randomly: “At the pilot in the Milan fashion store, for example, the client noticed that almost all Asian customers enter the store through one particular door, even though five are available.
“We thought it was a mistake, but we checked it out and it was right and it continues to happen,””
Full article at NY Times here.