The Future is Bright for Shoplifters With Body Dysmorphia

Full of cold and stuck in the biggest rut going – hits the spot exactly – I stumble across a post from last year, Geographical Rights Management, Mesh based Surveillance, Trickle-Down and Over-Reach, one of the increasingly many dystopian, were it not real, posts on this blog describing stuff that no-one cares about.

I mentally link it to Amazon Go, Amazon’s soon to be opened concept shop where you swipe in, take what you want, and just leave, presumably passing security cameras and a security guards, as your phone automatically picks up the automatically generated bill on your way out, and which just makes me feel cold in a different sense.

(I’m one of the neo-Luddites who refuses to use self-scan tills in supermarkets and self-pay pumps at petrol stations (cos Are Robots Threatening Jobs or Are We Taking Them Ourselves Through Self-Service Automation?).)

In a further round of consolidation, I have a quick peek around what other news I may have missed over the last year or so, seeing who else might know I’ve popped into the physical Amazon store: Google, perhaps (see SearchEngineLand on Google Launches “Store Visits” Metric In AdWords, To Help Prove Online-To-Offline Impact or Under The Hood: How Google AdWords Measures Store Visits, for example), or Facebook (Facebook’s new ads will track which stores you visit).

I also happen across a seriously f*****d up piece of shop furniture, the Skinny Mirror, a fitting room fitting that makes you look thinner than you are, so you feel better and buy whatever it is you’re trying on… (well, not you trying it on, obviously, some weirdly distorted f*****d up re-presentation of yourself). I imagine folk will then grab a selfie using something like the updated version of Facetune, an app that lets you photoshop, (verb), a live preview of yourself before you actually take the photo.

And if they walk out of the not Amazon store without paying, they’ll maybe try to explain it away with “I’ve got the app, so I thought I could just go…”.

PS I really need to put a distorted reality tag on a chunk of stuff on the Digital Worlds blog

PPS ish via @kpfssport, I note a recent report from the University of Leicester that suggests that Mobile Scan and Pay Technology could promote supermarket theft. See also a review of a pay-to-read Australian study (Emmeline Taylor, Supermarket self-checkouts and retail theft: The curious case of the SWIPERS): Are supermarket self-checkouts turning shoppers into swipers?.

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

3 thoughts on “The Future is Bright for Shoplifters With Body Dysmorphia”

  1. Wouldn’t the skinny mirror itself offer to take the distorted selfie and share it via the shopper’s social media accounts, thereby harvesting their data and advertising all at once?

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