Smart Sites save Money cost Privacy & Sanity?

The sophistication of modern websites grows apace. Agile web architecture which detects your presence and initiates conversation (OK - it clunks into a rather crude messaging dialogue) is pretty old hat on premium sites, where competition levels demand every possible sales lead is followed up. Now back end changes (these new media use such graceful language) mean that the surfer can be engaged, shown products, queries answered, and then sold a product - which could be a relatively complex service - without a flesh and blood sales operative becoming involved. Where is this leading us? Well, the latest blooper by Microsoft when it launched a new version of its gaming device the XBox, gives us a clue. The new version is so sophisticated that it can use facial recognition (through its Kinnect ports) to identify gamers sitting round the machine in your front room. If it sees someone whose face is not on the database (ie. not a paying customer) it can restrict them using the game. Cue public uproar - about this and other new 'improvements' which included a deft sleight of hand whereby paid for software would no longer work to be replaced by a subscription model - and Microsoft have now revised their plans.

But the technology has been revealed. Assuming you are using a mobile device with a camera built-in, you will now be able to 'visit' a shop/ site, do all the above, and get 'recognised' by the computer which could even ask after the previous products you bought when last on the site. How I relish the B&Q database asking me if I am satisfied with my most recent purchase (a large bag of assorted screws).

George Orwell is spinning.

Posted 1:57 PM | Permalink

TAGS: privacy, xbox, agile, web architecture