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NRF: Audience Detection Technology Targets Messages

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Follow the 2012 NRF show here and at @MarkHamstra on Twitter

NEW YORK — In-store audience-detection technology that tailors marketing messages to individual demographic groups is generating some buzz at the National Retail Federation 101st Annual Convention and Expo here this week.

Rite Aid is deploying a 10-store test of a holographic coupon dispenser — at nine stores in West Los Angeles and one in New York City — that combines loyalty-card-based marketing with facial detection technology, according to presenters at the Intel booth on the NRF show floor. The holographic display presents marketing messages just above eye level, while a digital screen on the front displays product offers.

Customers can swipe their loyalty card to redeem coupons and see targeted messages, and in addition a scanner examines the customer who stands in front of the machine to determine gender and age group, and  then displays relevant offers.

Also on display at the Intel booth was a Kraft Foods “Diji-Taste” product sampling/vending machine that detects the age and gender of the customer and offers a choice of a variety of flavors of the particular products being sampled, including Jell-O Temptations and Cadbury chocolate products.

The three-sided machines, which are refrigerated and hold 372 items, have a digital display screen than can switch from displaying choices of free samples of various Kraft products to being a traditional vending machine. The machines gather data using facial and height detection to categorize up to five customers at once according to gender, age group, and “dwell time” spent in front of the machine, paired with product selection data to generate user analytics.

The machine is in limited test in Chicago and New York.

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Liz Webber is Engagement Director / Fresh Market Editor at Supermarket News. She covers fresh foods for the magazine and creates multimedia, blog posts and other content for the website. She joined...

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