Now My Fridge is Spying on Me! By Brian Simpson

     Just when we thought we knew everything that could spy on us, like our phones, computers, and the like, now we face the greatest threat of all – the fridge! No-one desperate for a cold beer will be safe! Beware of the smart coolers to come:

“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. The technology embeds cameras, sensors, and digital screens in cooler doors, creating a network of “smart” displays that marketers intend to use to target ads to specific types of shoppers, explains The Wall Street Journal:

The refrigerator and freezer doors act as a digital merchandising platform that depicts the food and drinks inside in their best light, but also as an in-store billboard that can serve ads to consumers who approach, based on variables such as the approximate age the technology believes they are, their gender and the weather. This new technology could provide brick-and-mortar stores with a marketplace similar to online advertising. Ice cream brands could duke it out to get the most prominent placement when it is 97 degrees outside; an older man could see ads for different products than a younger woman.”

     I have not seen local developments of the surveillance fridge yet in Australia, but we sure that it is just around the corner. If George Orwell had put this in his classic book, 1984, nobody would have believed him, and he would have been dismissed as a lunatic. But, in 2019, here it is! My prediction for the next piece of insane anarcho-tyrannical technology, is surveillance underwear, that tracks your every politically incorrect thought, then delivers a severe electric shock!



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Saturday, 24 February 2024

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