The Internet of Things and the Customer of One: Welcome to the future of advertising

There’s a scene in the 2002 film Minority Report when Tom Cruise’s character walks through a shopping centre and a wall of holographic advertisements address him by name. In that film, optical recognition technology allows a series of sensors dotted throughout the centre to pin down the specific identity of customers, call on a stored database of information and tailor adverts in real time to appeal to an individual person’s tastes. This is framed in Minority Report as a terrifying intrusion of consumerism into our private lives. It is also surprisingly close to what will happen across many shops over the next few years. The reality of this Minority Report-style consumerist future was toted at a recent Intel and WPP event I attended. Entitled “Retailing to the Customer…


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