Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Take your free pudding and quit griping about ‘Big Brother.’

Kraft Foods begins testing a new breed of vending machines today. Created in conjunction with Intel, the devise dispenses free Jell-O brand Temptations - but only to the product’s target market: grown-ups.
That’s right, programmable discrimination! The machines are equipped with special cameras that scan faces and discern approximate age. Adults are dispensed pudding. Children go wanting.
Wait, but what about ‘Big Brother?’
Please. Do you really think a pudding machine is going to steal your identity? There’s no human behind the lens – it’s just a detection device! The machines look for universal indicators of age, like distance between your eyes and ears.
So take your sample and be grateful the good people at Intel have yet to figure out how to stop you from coming back for seconds… (or so we’ve heard).
Goofy Gimmick or Next-Gen Marketing?
Call it what you want – it sure beats the long-standing alternative of awkwardly holding your hand out to an apron-touting blue-hair at the super market. But even for us extroverts, machines are portable. They are omnipresent and can be placed strategically within areas of heavy foot traffic.
Yes, sampling machines reach a much wider demographic than peer-to-peer sampling alone.
Not to mention, while still new and widely elusive, the machines boast a certain mystique and “wow” factor that lures curious consumers in.
Sampling isn’t going away.
Food and beverage manufacturers spend $1B/year on sampling. It’s a vital component to product launch.
For consumers who can shake their fear of cameras, the machines offer an anonymity and universal approachability sampling from a human cannot.
Beyond facial recognition, look for next-gen machines to provide additional insights. Intel is said to be working on a device that can detect facial expressions; smile v frown.
Use or Refuse?
What do you think of Kraft and Intel’s latest innovation?

Original article

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