The New Galleria Store That Tracks Your Glances

THE NEW GALLERIA STORE THAT TRACKS YOUR GLANCES Dwight Silverman explores the tech offerings at products-from-startups-showcase b8ta, which opened in the Galleria last month a couple doors down from the new Saks Fifth Avenue: “The stores are also bristling with cameras, which is common in modern retail stores. However, these cameras — 170 of them in the Galleria store — don’t necessarily capture video. [b8ta CEO Vibhu] Norby said they turn images of individuals into data, and then track them as they move about the store.’ We are not tracking the person’s face, we are tracking the geometry of their face,’ he said. ‘We hash it, then we watch the hash as it’s interacting with products. There’s no identification information; this is just a blob doing these behaviors.’ Behavioral data are then shared with the product makers. Someone who walks into b8ta may look at two or three products before they buy one. Their pathway is provided to b8ta’s vendors.” [Houston Chronicle ($)] Photo: Vibhu Norby

9 Comment

  • Eventually someone will sue a company for being used as “data” to profit the company and win.

  • Thanks for the warning, I will never set foot in the place.

  • Just wear sunglasses and a hoodie when you browse through the shop…..

  • Dana: How could you sue and win? If this bothers or worries you, just don’t shop there. “Big Data” is used by almost every company out there. At least any that are surviving.

  • I’m with Cody, you’re probably being data mined on this site.

  • Cameras are everywhere not just in stores. Downtown they are at most intersections, along our highways, facing you at an ATM, in banks, fast food, sit down restaurants, gas stations, etc. You will never really escape being in camera view in this day and age.

  • NO thank you. We’ve become the Nanny State / Big Brother FRICKING everywhere. Too creepy !!!

  • Cody: I’m not a lawyer but I think the argument would be based on your correct point, that is profiting from people’s normal activities without their permission and it’s getting to the point everything we do is mined for profiling to benefit someone else…as if we’re a type of livestock while we live our lives.
    If I’m a cow and you’re taking milk from me on a daily basis, don’t I get a piece of the action, or are my teats simply there for mass secretive suckling?
    And that’s just mentioning the supposed legal mining. Once someone is caught using it in a way that is contrary to the stated privacy policy or use then that would change things. Does anyone even know what they do with all of the street camera data that is supposedly “keeping us safe”? There are some profiling bucks there just going to waste. It’s just sort of the wild west right now with regards to this data mining stuff and, while most people don’t care and never will about any of this, some do and will and the balance will be reestablished a bit more in the favor of the average cow at some point.

  • You already give up data to Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc in exchange for their services (read their Terms of Service? No. Checked the box? Yes!). Perhaps this new retail space should have everyone sign a ToS before entering. By the way if you think that there are not enough cameras everywhere, you may be encouraged by the progress being made in China. Coming to these shores eventually.