If you’ve been feeling like you just don’t have enough “smart” devices spying on you every day, I have great news. “Smart coolers” may be coming to a store near you.
Years ago, you would have sounded like a lunatic if you said that a refrigerator was watching you. But, like other new technology, yesterday’s serious mental health symptom is today’s reality.
Walgreens is piloting a new line of “smart coolers”, which are refrigerators equipped with cameras that scan shoppers’ faces and make inferences on their age and gender. On January 14, the company announced its first trial at a store in Chicago. The drugstore chain plans to put the coolers in stores in New York, Seattle, and San Francisco by the end of January.
Walgreens is getting paid to install smart coolers.
So far, 15 large advertisers have signed up to test the Cooler Screens platform, including Nestlé SA, MillerCoors LLC, and Conagra Brands Inc. While Cooler Screens is currently only in Walgreens stores, the company is looking to get their product in additional chains as well.