Grocery Store “Smart Shelves” That Tempt You to Buy Junk Food

Well, this is a little creepy: you could soon find your grocery store conspiring against your diet, tempting you to buy junk food via data-collecting, motion-sensing “smart shelves.”

And just what is a smart shelf? According to reports, the shelf, operating on the Microsoft program Kinect for Windows, is a “display unit that will use sensor technology to identify the age and sex of the customer by the checkout counter.” Ads would then appear on screens for snacks the shelf’s data suggests you’d like.

The shelf is made for Mondelez International, the company that brings you such snack foods as Oreos, Ritz, and Chips Ahoy!, among others, and would collect data from people perusing their products only.

Yes, it’s still slightly unnerving, though the company surely isn’t attempting to spy on consumers….right Mondelez International spokeswoman?

“Our goal is to understand how shoppers see, scan, spot, show interest and select products from the shelf in the store. We can also engage and influence the purchase decision by delivering a targeted shopper experience. For example, we can deliver audio or play a video based on demographics, distance and even the time of the day.”

See? Nothing…too…complex…

These spy…er…smart shelves could be in stores by 2015.