POS: Mobile, Cameras

The new POS: Mobile
It’s the ad served while you are reading the news in the morning on an e-reader that knows you’re at home and three blocks from a Starbucks. It’s a loyalty program on your phone that, through a hotel-room sensor, sets the lights and thermostat and turns the TV to CNN when you walk in the door. It’s finding a restaurant in a strange city on a Tuesday night, discovering that a store nearby stocks the TV you’re looking for, or that a certain grocery on the way home has the cut of meat you need.  Forget Foursquare or Gowalla: Soon every website and service will be able to tell where you are, opening up the floodgates for location-based marketing and blurring the budget lines for advertisers. “What used to be called point-of-purchase is now called mobile advertising,” said Kip Cassino, VP-research at Borrell Associates. “Mobile can be an extension of a retailer’s storefront.”
There is a growing number stores deploying video cameras, motion detectors and other sensors – some hidden, some overt – but all doing more than merely monitoring aisles for shoppers. Increasingly, whether customers realize it or not, and often they don’t, this technology is being used to study consumers for behavior, shopping and product preferences and other insights that will lead to more marketing opportunities and increase sales, according to the New York Times.
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